Did you know that if your home was built between 1998 and 1988 you are likely living in one of the 46 million under-insulated homes in the U.S? That’s from a 2003 study from the Harvard School of Public Health. That’s a shame considering how much insulation helps lower your electric bills. So how do you know if your attic is under-insulated?
Go up to your attic see if you can easily see your floor joists. ENERGY STAR states that if your attic insulation is just level with or below your attic’s floor joists (assuming your insulation is evenly distributed) you need to add more insulation. But how much?
The amount of insulation you need depends where you live and is measured by the R-value, which measures the insulation’s ability to resist heat traveling through it. The higher the R-value, the better. The Department of Energy has an insulation calculator that gives you the estimated R-value your attic needs based on your
For Atlanta-area homes, the R-value will be between R30-R60. Once you know the R-value needed, use this insulation calculator to determine how much insulation you need to buy based on how much insulation you already have and the size of your attic. (Note: this calculator is for blown-in insulation only)
You might be wondering, “is it really worth paying for more insulation?” If your home’s attic lacks the R-value it needs, then the question is really, “When will it pay for itself?” Because, eventually, it will! To see how many years it will take until you’ll break even, use Finehomebuilding.com’s insulation payback tool.
Adding insulation to your attic is just one way (and a great one) to improve your home’s energy efficiency. You can also learn to use your ceiling fan correctly and install a programmable thermostat among many other things. And, of course, you can upgrade your air conditioner, heater and/or water heater, which we can help you with. Contact us for more information on how we can help you lower the energy bills in your Atlanta-area home.