Attic insulation is a major consideration in home maintenance. There are many reasons why it is a necessary expense and one look at this list will prove that it will be one of your best decisions as a home owner. There are a variety of ways to insulate your attic, and your choice might be influenced by what you have used in the past, what is already installed, and the structure of your home, amongst others. Each method and material has its pros and cons. At the end of the day, given the climate of South Florida, you can’t lose by ensuring that your attic is properly insulated.
It doesn’t take a lifetime of living in Florida to know that the heat is something you’ll readily want to escape. The heat that drives you indoors is the same heat that has air-cooling systems going at full throttle a lot of the time. Your cooling system would not have to work as hard if it wasn’t fighting the elements invading your attic. Insufficient insulation and areas where insulation has left gaps makes it harder for the temperature of your home to be moderated. Think of the years you will add to your cooling system by lessening its load.
While we are on the topic of air cooling, you may not even be fully aware of the impact this necessary mechanism has on your electric bill. If you are aware, then you know the extent you’d go to bring this expense down. Instead of contemplating whether or not you could survive the night without your trusty air conditioning system, have a real look at how much proper insulation can save you on your electric bill. Some insulation methods can guarantee a minimum of 20% savings. It is likely to be a higher figure than that.
The last thing you want is humidity taking its toll on the interior of your attic. Insulation is a necessary protection against the damp and mold that sets in with a climate like ours. In the long run, it would be impossible to ensure that this damage will be easily contained to your attic. Given what our climate is, building codes strictly regulate the standard of insulation in our homes. The technicalities on how to calculate the insulation you would need are all available online.
We mentioned earlier that a number of products and methods are available. Two major methods include rolled insulation and blown in insulation. Blown in insulation is known for filling small spaces and holes more thoroughly than the rolled variety.
Some insulations are easier to install than others, like rolled fiberglass. It can be a tricky material to work with though, as it releases small fiberglass particles into the air. Cellulose is fire resistant but can settle over time which decreases its effectiveness against the elements. The weight of it can also add strain to the structure of you home. Blown in, recycled fiber glass is a decent option, having none of these downsides and quite a few upsides. It is fire, water, and mold resistant. The R-value rating is also better than many other options. The Owens Corning product, as installed by Art Plumbing, AC and Electrical, has a 100-year warranty. (The R-value is the measurement against the standard of insulation.)
Some things to consider to ensure that insulation is installed properly and so that you will experience maximum benefits without causing other issues in the long run include ensuring that your light fixtures can still be accessed, that the insulation is installed at the correct distance above the ducts to prevent condensation problems down the line, and checking that soffit protectors are in place to prevent insulation from being blown around when the wind picks up, as it does here in South Florida.
We have mentioned how proper insulation helps to fight the heat and any other issues that the heat can cause. Aside from feeling like you have less reason to dread your electric bill, your air cooling system effects will be that much greater not straining against the element.
Many people don’t think about the fact that rats can nest in or behind insulation. It’s a good idea to have your attic insulation periodically checked for rat nests and redone if any nests are found.
A correctly insulated attic means less dust, not just heat, which means cleaner air. No bits of unwanted dust from outside will have room to gather in your attic and find a way into your ductwork.
The heat in South Florida is uncomfortable, but even when we escape it indoors, it is affecting us in other ways. The toll on your electric bill and the necessity of proper insulation against its effects is real. This is a job that should receive as much attention as any other home maintenance. You’d be surprised at how much this layer you can’t see adds to your comfort and reprieve from the heat.
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