You all know your house needs insulation because it helps keep the temperature stable. But how much do you really know about your insulation?
It’s important to know why you need insulation and how it helps. Before you invest in new insulation for your attic, make sure you know these six things:
1. Why Insulation Is Important
Having the proper amount of insulation in your attic is essential, and nowhere more so than the Twin Cities. The extremes in temperature we experience in this region make insulation as important in summer as it is in winter. There aren’t a lot of places where your home will be subjected to 90-degree heat and 20-below wind chills within just a few months!
The right amount of attic insulation allows you to heat and cool your home more effectively, providing comfort year-round. It also improves the energy efficiency of your home, potentially saving you a lot of money on your utility bills.
2. All Your Insulation Options
You have several basic types of insulation to choose from, each of which has benefits in particular situations. Fiberglass blankets or rolls are one of the most common types, and are popular for their easy DIY installation, while rigid foam board insulation is valued for its high insulating value for relatively little thickness.
Blown-in insulation is considered one of the best overall values in insulation. Sometimes called loose-fill insulation, blown-in insulation provides a high R-Value, and is great for irregular and hard-to-reach areas like your attic. It’s also ideal for adding extra insulation to areas which already have some other insulation.
3. How Insulation Is Made
Every insulation has a unique story of how it’s made. Blown-in insulation can be made of several different materials, including fiberglass, cellulose, or rock wool. Fiberglass is the most common of these, and there’s an interesting manufacturing process behind it.
Fiberglass really is a type of glass, which is heated until molten, and then forced through incredibly fine holes to create super-thin glass filaments. The fiberglass used for insulation is often made of recycled materials, making it a great eco-friendly home improvement.
4. What R-Value Means
R-Value is essentially the measure of how well a two-dimensional barrier, such as a layer of insulation, resists the transfer of heat. Simply put, a higher R-Value means greater insulating ability. For Minnesota homes, the recommended R-Value is R-49 (though it may be lower in warmer parts of the country).
One question we sometimes hear is, “how much insulation is too much?” While it’s generally accepted more insulation is better, there is theoretically a point at which your home can become too insulated and tightly sealed, causing moisture to get trapped in the attic. This is one reason why we recommend having a professional look at your insulation and give recommendations on how to improve it.
5. The Lifespan of Your Insulation
Modern insulation can be effective for as long as 80 to 100 years, but this wasn’t always the case. If you live in an older home and you’re not sure how old the insulation is, it’s worth taking the time to have a specialist inspect it. Insulation can start falling from fiberglass batts or blankets in as little as 10 years.
Old insulation can settle, making it less effective. Depending on the type of insulation, it may need to be torn out and replaced. One of the main benefits of blown-in insulation is you can add it on top of your old insulation in many cases, eliminating the need for removal.
6. The Impact of Insulation on Your Health
There are a lot of health and safety considerations to keep in mind with insulation. Insulation helps regulate the temperature of your home, which is a major benefit, especially during cold and flu season. Having the right amount of insulation also helps guard your home against moisture and all the problems with it, including mold and mildew.
That being said, there are some things to watch for too. Prolonged exposure to fiberglass can cause skin irritation, and breathing it in can cause lung irritation. For this reason, we recommend having only a trained professional install your insulation.
Our goal at Midwest Roofing, Siding & Windows isn’t to simply put more insulation in your home. We’re here to offer the peace of mind from knowing your home is safe and secure.
Contact us today to learn more about your insulation options, and talk to our team about working with Midwest Roofing, Siding & Insulation in the Twin Cities.