Some families rushed to insulate their homes in the mid-’70s, just after the OAPEC oil embargo, when energy prices were soaring. Enthusiastic do-it-yourselfers or not, the dramatic cost savings the insulation promised were too attractive to ignore.
Although the energy crisis of the ’70s is past, the cost of utilities can still accrue to impressive figures, rendering adequate insulation a must-have. Even so, the good economy offered by robust attic insulation is just one of its many benefits.
Lower Utility Bills
As mentioned, smaller utility bills remain perhaps the best benefit of properly insulating your attic. By most measures, homeowners can save 15-20 percent on monthly gas and electric bills, although this figure may be higher or lower depending on the condition of the home, its age, the kind and amount of insulation used, and the applicable utility rates. For an average household, these savings amount to $16-21 per month for saved electricity, and if your home has an HVAC system, an additional $10-13 per month in natural gas. That’s hundreds saved annually, year after year.
How does insulation work its magic? It slows the conductive and convective heat flow in your home. If this sounds too technical, just remember that hot air rises, and then think back to a time you seared your hand by grabbing a handle, supposing the only hot thing was the pan attached. Heat travels through metal and also through the wood frame of your home. It also likes to travel upward. These properties of heat promote its escape from or permeation into your home during the winter and summer months, respectively.
Longer Life for Your HVAC
For any machine or appliance, more usage equals more maintenance and more frequent replacement. If your HVAC system runs constantly to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home, you will in time notice higher service costs — accompanied by inconvenient service calls — and you may need to spend thousands on repairs or a new system sooner than necessary.
More Comfortable Interior
If the cost doesn’t motivate you to insulate, you might find your impetus in being always cold or hot. An underinsulated attic can cramp your lifestyle, forcing you to wear multiple layers in winter and forsake normal cover during summer. Proper insulation, usually starting with an R-value of 30, ameliorates these painful extremes, permitting you to maintain a more comfortable and even range of temperatures year-round.
Prevent Ice Dams
Ice dams form along the bottom edges of your roof during winter, inhibiting the natural gravity-fed removal of snow melt. This can cause serious, moisture-related roof damage, as well as structural rot and deterioration. Fortunately, insulating your attic can prevent this buildup of ice by ensuring even roof temperatures, potentially saving you thousands in expensive roof repairs.
Insulating your attic conveys numerous, immediate benefits related to the energy efficiency of your home and personal comfort. By installing the insulation your home needs, you can divert wasted money to more worthy causes and find yourself more physically comfortable at the same time.