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Everything You Need to Know About Attic Insulation

Insulating your attic can benefit you in many ways. Insulation keeps your Bessemer, AL, home more comfortable in any kind of weather, and it can lower your utility bills by a wide margin. It repels rodents, reduces noise, eliminates drafts and improves humidity control. Insulation can prevent ice dams from forming on your roof, banish cold walls and ceilings and get rid of hot and cold spots in your Alabama home.

How Do I Know If I Need Insulation?

According to ENERGY STAR, most American homes can benefit from an insulation installation because they have insufficient existing insulation and many air leaks. ENERGY STAR tells us that the amount of heated and cooled air lost due to insufficient insulation and air leaks in the average American home equals that which would be lost by leaving a window wide open every day of the year. The upshot is that many Birmingham air conditioners, heat pumps and furnaces are working overtime to replace the lost air.

How Will Attic Insulation Benefit Me?

Air pressure in your home is highest near the ceiling, and it pulls heated and cooled air from the bottom of your house upward. Although Birmingham does not have extreme cold, it still gets cold enough to need a heater during the winter. Heated air rises and can escape through the attic. The extra layer of protection that insulation provides prevents heat from rising and escaping so your heater doesn’t have to work so hard. On the other hand, the hot Alabama sun can cause temperatures in the attic to top off at 150 degrees in summer. Insulation keeps this solar heat from penetrating your living space and reduces the workload on your air conditioner as well.

Besides installing insulation in a home that has none, you can also benefit by increasing your existing insulation or by replacing the insulation that you already have. Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value report found that insulating an attic provides a whopping 116.94 percent return on investment (ROI). That’s the highest ROI delivered by any type home improvement project.

Are There Different Types of Insulation Materials?

Insulation reduces the transfer of heat into and out of your home; this allows for greater indoor comfort all year long and increases HVAC energy efficiency. The effectiveness of an insulation material is determined by its R-value; the higher the R-value, the more effective the insulation material will be.

There are different ways to insulate and different materials you can use. Popular materials include spray foam, fiberglass, mineral wool, cotton batting, cellulose and foam boards. The desired R-value should be determined prior to installing the material. Considerations include the type of material, its thickness and its square-foot weight. In Birmingham homes, an R-value of 30-60 would be appropriate for an attic with no insulation. For attics with three to four inches of existing insulation, an R-value of 25-38 is recommended.

Important Considerations Prior to Insulating Your Home

Besides the cost of the insulating material, factors to consider include:

  • Professional installation The effectiveness of an insulation material can be completely undermined if that material is improperly installed. Be sure to hire a reputable and professional installer.
  • Energy efficiency and indoor comfort High-quality insulation materials will reduce heat transfer most effectively for greater energy efficiency. High-quality insulation will also keep your home more comfortable.
  • Resistance to fire. Flammable insulation materials should be treated with borate or ammonium sulfate to reduce the potential for a fire. These agents also repel pests.

Choosing a Reputable Insulation Professional

The insulation installation experts at Total Comfort Heating and Air are experienced professionals who can efficiently take your Bessemer home through the insulation installation process from consultation to completion. We’re committed to fair prices, high-quality materials, dedicated customer care and impeccable workmanship. To learn more, visit us online or call us to speak with an experienced insulation installation specialist.

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