This summer, we will be offering some of our best energy-saving tips to help you save money and enjoy a more comfortable and energy-efficient home. We’ll get started on this series of posts by taking it from the top–literally–with advice for replacing your home’s attic insulation.

Why Replace Attic Insulation?

Attic insulation is extremely important for controlling the energy efficiency of your home in all seasons. Without proper insulation and installation, maintaining temperature control in your home is very difficult: hot air quickly transfers out of your home in the winter, and into your home from the roof in the summer. Investing in attic insulation, then, is a simple way to save energy and money year-round. In fact, as the folks over at Angie’s List explain, “Proper insulation… can reduce your monthly heating and cooling costs by up to 20 percent, according to Energy Star, and your annual energy bill by up to 10 percent, highly rated HVAC professionals say. The EPA’s Energy Star program adds that adequate insulation is one of the most cost-saving home projects a homeowner can undertake.”

R-value: The Magic Number for Attic Insulation

The attic is one of the most important areas of your home to keep properly insulated–skimping on insulation will be a waste of time and money. Luckily, The U.S. Department of Energy has set very clear R-value recommendations so homeowners can easily determine the right amount of attic insulation needed to protect their homes. An R-value is simply a measure of how well a material resists heat flow.

To get an idea of how much insulation your attic may need, you can first measure how much your attic already has (if any) to determine the current R-value. To do so, simply measure the thickness of your attic’s existing insulation with a ruler and multiply by 3.14. Once you have determined your insulation’s current R-value, you will have a clearer idea of the amount of additional insulation you will need.

You can refer to the chart below to see what the Department of Energy recommends for your area of the country. An R-value of R-49 is recommended for attics in our home state of Delaware. This is equivalent to approximately 16″ of fiberglass blanket insulation.

Energy-Smart Summer: Invest in Attic Insulation insulation usa r value\

Energy-Smart Summer: Invest in Attic Insulation insulation ratings

Installing Insulation 

Whether you are a DIY enthusiast or don’t exactly consider yourself handy, we suggest hiring a professional to complete your attic insulation. A professional can properly assess the condition of existing insulation, identify how well it is performing, and determine how much additional insulation will be needed to protect your home from temperature extremes. In addition, professionals have access to the tools needed to do the job as effectively as possible.

For example, here at Advance Roofing, Windows, Siding & Doors, we use the innovative Owens Corning AttiCat insulation blowing machine for all attic insulation installations. This machine evenly spreads insulation at the appropriate depth, so there are no bare spots or areas where the insulation is heaped up. It is a quick, clean, reliable and, most importantly, safe approach to expertly insulating attics.

Whether your attic has no insulation at all or is just in need of some additional insulating power, this savvy investment will quickly yield a much more energy-efficient home.