How A lot Cash Will You Save Insulating Your Attic? A Complete Lot
Insulating your attic might not be the sexiest home renovation project, but it is probably one of the most practical home renovations you can do. Think about it: every ounce of insulation you add pays off by reducing the amount of heat that escapes through attics, thus lowering your heating bills (as well as your summer air conditioning bills).
But how much money do you save on insulating your attic? Here’s how to work out the numbers for this money-saving move to help you decide if this renovation is worth it for you.
What are the benefits of insulating an attic?
“In a conventional house, an attic is ventilated to the outside and insulated with porous material that allows cold air to escape in winter and cold air in summer,” explains CR Herro, Vice President for Innovation at Meritage Homes.
The insulation of the top trusses provides a barrier that dramatically reduces the amount of air entering or exiting a house.
Signs that your attic insulation is below average include drafts, uneven temperatures between rooms, high heating / cooling bills, and ice dams in winter (i.e. those pretty icicles hanging on the edge of your roof).
How much does it cost to insulate an attic – and how much do you save?
First of all, you should know that insulating your attic doesn’t come cheap. Estimates put it at around $ 1,340.
But get this: The US Energy Information Administration predicts the average homeowner will spend either $ 595 on natural gas or $ 1,646 on heating oil this winter to keep warm. (You’re not imagining anything; both numbers are higher than last year.)
Insulating your attic, however, could cut those costs by up to 30%, Herro says.
Your total gas cost would drop to $ 417 or oil cost to $ 1,152. Also, people who live in a climate of extreme temperatures are likely to notice a bigger difference in their bills than someone who lives in a temperate climate.
What is the ROI for insulating an attic?
There is also a resale value to consider. When the time comes when you want to sell your home, you can advertise your newly insulated attic and get a better price.
In fact, Remodeling magazine experts have found buyers willing to pay an additional $ 1,446 for a home with an insulated loft. Compared to the average insulation cost of $ 1,343, the return on your investment is 107.7%!
How To Determine If Your Attic Needs Insulation (Or More)
According to Fixr, if your home was built before 1960, it is likely under-insulated. But many not-so-old homes also lack the right amount of insulation, or insulation has degraded or deteriorated over the years, which means adding more can still be beneficial.
Remember, “The savings from adding insulation to your attic will vary greatly depending on how well the house is sealed, how big the house is, how much insulation is initially there, and how big the temperature difference is outdoors versus indoors “, Stresses Mark Tirol, Engineer and President of Battic Door Energy Conservation Products.
Simply put, if you have leaks in other parts of your home that leak expensive heated (or cooled) air, insulating your attic probably won’t make much of a difference unless you take care of those other issues too.
Drafts come through small cracks in your doors and windows, as well as “holes” in your home from the tumble dryer opening, fireplace, and roof fan. The good news? You can seal these areas yourself without investing a lot of time, energy or expertise. (You can find more information about sealing your home here.)
Any other reasons to isolate?
There is. An insulated attic also offers the following advantages:
- Cleaner air: “Sealed and insulated attics reduce the pollen and dust sources in the house,” says Herro. You breathe easier in your home, especially during the allergy season.
- Less temperature fluctuations in the household: “The insulation means that extremely hot or extremely cold temperatures on the top of houses are significantly reduced, which leads to more comfortable living spaces,” says Herro.
Is all the insulation the same?
No You have many options, “but knowing the limits of your space is key,” says says Mark Scott, President of MARK IV Builders, a Washington, DC-based home remodeling company.
Ceiling insulation is probably what first comes to mind when you think of insulation. It’s a material made from flexible fibers (like fiberglass) that comes in bold rolls. According to Scott, ceiling insulation is the most cost-effective option, but it is only intended to fill smaller surfaces – it needs to be placed between the studs, joists, and joists.
Loose or blown insulation that is literally blown into a room is great for filling in existing finished areas, around obstacles or oddly shaped areas. This also applies to spray foam (polyurethane), which is the most expensive insulation. “However, it offers the greatest protection against severe seasonal temperature changes and weather events,” says Scott.
Who should insulate my attic?
Do you want to save some money? If your attic is accessible and easy to move around – and you love a DIY challenge and have around three days to spare – then you can tackle the insulation yourself (learn more about how to insulate an attic here). But if that doesn’t just describe you or your situation, or if you encounter any of the following, you need to hire a professional:
- Difficult access to the attic
- Little or no roof ventilation
- Signs of moisture problems in your attic (like moldy rafters)
- Signs of a leaky roof
- Any vents in your home that vent to the attic instead of the outside
“A careful installation (read: A Knowledgeable Support Team of Contractors and Electricians) will help keep the insulation intact for years and save your utility bill and your home serious headaches,” says Scott.