Heating and cooling costs take more than half of your home’s energy consumption. Hence, your attic’s insulation plays a significant role in helping cut down the monthly energy bills you incur. Due to this, you need to look after your attic insulation the same way as you look after the other parts of your property. Doing so will ensure that it will do its job properly and help you save as much as 20 percent on your utilities. So to get you started, here are some things you can do to make sure you will get the most from your attic insulation.
Look for draft-prone spots in the attic
Unnecessary gaps in your attic will let heated or cooled air escape outdoors, making any insulation you add useless. That said, take the time to check around your attic for draft-prone spots. Some of the most common areas where a huge amount of heated or cooled air is drained are around attic windows, around chimneys and flues, around wires, pipes, ducts and exhaust fans, dropped soffits, under attic knee walls and the area where the walls meet the attic floor. Make sure to plug these leaky areas using the right type of sealant to prevent air from escaping.
Ensure all exhaust fans and vents are directed to the exterior of your house
Although it is against the building code for any type of exhaust to be vented toward the attic, there are some homeowners who use this shortcut. If you want to make sure your insulation will last for a long time and will perform its best, ensure all the vents and exhaust fans in your attic are directed toward the exterior of your house. This way, you will prevent humid air from getting trapped in your attic insulation.
Fix leaky roof
Water is the worst enemy of any attic insulation. If allowed to penetrate, it can cause mold and mildew growth, ruining the insulation’s air-trapping pockets which are responsible for blocking heat flow. Look around the roof sheathing and see if there are water stains. Also check the attic joists to see if there are moldy spots. If you find any of the two, it is an indication that there are leaks in your attic, so be sure to patch them up before they cause bigger problems later on.
Protect your attic’s access points
Never overlook the access points of your attic when it comes to insulation. If you do not integrate insulation on them, the entire insulation on the attic will be rendered useless as heated and cooled air would still escape from these spots. Hence, install rigid foam insulation on both sides of your attic door and apply weatherstripping and sweep around its perimeter. If you are using a pull-down stair, a zippered, insulated tent is an excellent material to you can install that will help prevent drafts.
Allow proper airflow in the attic
Do not cover your soffit vents with batts or loose fill. Take note that the air circulating from the soffits to the ridge vents helps keep your roof cool and prevent ice dam formation. So if you apply any of the aforesaid materials on the soffit vents, it will block the air from flowing properly around your attic. For the same reason, be sure that your existing insulation does not touch the underside of your roof.
This guest post was penned by Ericka for McIntyre Masonry who carry out Stonemasonry in Lanark and throughout Scotland. Ericka is both an avid writer and home improvement enthusiast. She combines these two passions by writing helpful posts regarding home repair and maintenance, decor and organization.