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How does your attic measure up – Do you need more attic insulation?

For most of us the attic is a forgotten place. Its hot, dark, and there are things living up there that we probably don’t even want to know about. What most of us neglect is the importance attic insulation can make to the comfort of our home.

Not having enough attic insulation can allow the cold winter air to penetrate into the warm air of the home causing cold areas or drafts. This can be especially noticeable on the top floors of multiple story homes. The same holds true in the summer as the hot air penetrates into the living space we are trying to cool, making the HVAC system run longer. Homeowners of multiple story houses notice this by the temperature in the upper levels being considerably higher than the temperature downstairs. These could all be signs that you need more insulation.

ENERGY STAR® has put together some videos to help you determine if you need more insulation or not. As a general rule, homes in the southern states should have 13” to 14” (about a R38) of insulation. Homes in the northern states should have 16” to 18” (about a R49) of insulation. ENERGY STAR estimates that properly insulating and sealing your home can save up to 10% on your heating and cooling bills. If your total bill is $100 per month that means in a year’s time you could save up to $120.

Typically insulation does not need to be replaced so properly insulating your home now could provide many years of costs savings over the life of your home. Insulation can be one of those things you either want to do or want to have someone else do for you. If you are going to tackle the project yourself, make sure you have the proper safety equipment and know the layout of your attic.

To learn more about other helpful cost saving tips visit the climate change section of this web site.

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