At Alamance Insulation and Gutters, we’re a leader in the insulation and home performance industries. Serving customers throughout North Carolina, from Greensboro, Burlington, Elon and Mebane to Chapel Hill, Durham, and Raleigh, we can help with all your insulation and gutter needs. We’re expecting a cold winter this year – whenever that may happen – and your gutters and insulation could be at risk. For all your insulation and gutter needs – in winter or otherwise – contact Alamance Insulation and Gutters today. We’d love to help!
Even if you live in an older home, there’s no reason you need to shiver through the winter or roast in the summer. If your house doesn’t have enough insulation – common in homes built before 1980, when energy awareness began to take hold – bringing it up to current standards will make it more comfortable all year long. Plus, you’ll save anywhere from 10% to 50% on heating and cooling bills.
The amount of savings for upgrading insulation depends on many factors, including where you live, what type of heating system you have, and how much insulation you add.
How to Compare Different Types of Insulation
On each type of insulation, a label states the R-value per inch, a measure of resistance to heat transfer. The bigger the number, the more effective the insulation. Where space is tight, such as within wall cavities, you need a high R-value per inch. In an attic or under a floor, where there is more room, you can boost the insulation value of a lower-rated material simply by using a thicker layer.
As a rule, the more insulation you add, the more money you’ll save. But there is a point beyond which you can spend more on materials than you’ll recoup in lower energy bills. The tipping point varies depending on where you live. Consult the Department of Energy’s zip-code specific recommendations for the right amount of insulation for your climate.
Adding Insulation in the Attic
The attic is a great place to start, because adding insulation there is quick, easy, and cost-effective. (To make any insulation upgrade more cost-effective, it’s a good idea to seal air leaks first.) In the Northeast, for example, upgrading attic insulation from R-11 to R-49 would cost around $1,500 if you hire a pro—half as much if you do it yourself—and, depending on the type of heat you have, save about $600.
To determine how much to add, look up the recommended amount for your area, then subtract the value of your existing insulation. If you don’t know, you can figure it out using the Home Energy Saver online energy audit tool.
There are two ways to improve attic insulation. In unfinished space, you can simply add layers to what is already on the floor. Or, if you’re thinking about finishing the attic, you can put the insulation against the roof. Insulating the roof is the better method if heating and cooling ducts pass through the space, or if you live in a humid climate and want to cut down on musty smells coming from the attic.
Check our next blog post for the next two tips on how to make your insulation save you money!