Properly insulating your attic is a great way to save money on your energy bills. Doing so can reduce heating and cooling costs and provide noise reduction. That said, in order to ensure that your attic is properly insulated, there are a few key pointers to consider. Below are just a few of them.
1. Analyze Its Current Condition
To determine if the attic needs insulation, it is best to have a professional assess the space first. Roof leaks or other sources of moisture in the attic, such as wet or damp insulation or mouldy or rotten rafters, should be fixed before new insulation is installed.
Having the rafters measured by a structural expert is also crucial. Many older houses may have rafters that need to be bigger to meet modern building codes. Before continuing with insulation, it may be necessary to reinforce the rafters if they are drooping or cracked.
This is because, in the absence of attic insulation, heat from the rest of the house will rise and warm the roof. This heat helps reduce the amount of snow that accumulates on the roof after a snowstorm. However, if the attic is well insulated, the roof won't get warm, and snow will keep piling up as it melts more slowly. Due to the increased snow load, roof failure is more likely if the current rafters are inadequate.
2. Seal All the Openings
Once the assessment is complete, you must ensure that your attic is air sealed by closing all vents, crevices, and other openings that could allow air to escape. This will help keep the room at the ideal temperature.
Expanding foam and caulk are frequently used for air sealing since they fill gaps effectively. In addition, remember that attics still usually need some ventilation, even after air sealing. If you need help assessing your roof's ventilation system and planning for its upkeep, you should consult an expert.
3. Keep Track of Your Vents
The attic space of most houses has vents that allow air to enter and leave. Mould and mildew are kept at bay thanks to the ventilation system's ability to remove excess moisture and condensation. Soffit vents, eave vents, ridge vents, and gable vents are the most common locations for attic ventilation systems.
Avoid blocking the vents in an attic by placing insulation over them. This will prevent a host of problems. Loose-fill insulation, which can be readily pushed or blown across vents, requires extra caution.
4. Take Note of All the Hidden Lights
Take care not to insulate over any typical recessed light fixtures that may be present in the ceiling below the attic. These bulbs produce a great deal of heat, which may potentially start a fire. If you have recessed lighting, be sure that all insulation is at least three inches away from the bulbs. This caution applies solely to non-integrated circuit (IC) recessed lighting.
If the recessed lighting fixtures are IC-rated (IC stands for Insulation Contact), then the insulation can be safely installed on top of the lights. Consult a professional home inspector or electrician if you need clarification on the hidden lighting system in your home. Until then, keep the insulation far away from the fittings.
5. Do Not Forget the Attic Entry
There is typically a panel, hatch, fold-back door, or pull-down staircase in the attic for easy access. These vents should be insulated to prevent warm air from rising through the house and into the attic. In addition, the size of these gaps varies from 8 to 10 square feet, which is substantial and could lead to significant heat loss.
You could just lay insulation over the hatch, but then every time you needed to enter the attic, you'd have to move the insulation out of the way. A more practical option is to purchase an insulated attic door or attic stair cover and have it installed professionally. These components are a simple, quick, and cheap way to close up the entry to your attic.
Overall, insulating your attic can be a key step in improving your home's energy efficiency. It is important to consider the type of insulation you will use, taking note of all the lights, the amount of insulation you need, as well as its location. Additionally, be sure to inspect your attic for any possible air leaks, moisture damage, and pests that may be present in the space.
By following these pointers, you can ensure your attic is properly insulated, and your home is energy efficient.
If you are looking for a company that does attic insulation in Medicine Hat, Alberta, look no further than our services here at Patterson Bros Drywall. We are the first and only drywall company in Medicine Hat to offer spray foam insulation, as well as other traditional insulation methods, offering our services to all our residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural clients. Call us today, and let us install all the insulation that your attic needs in no time!