As the summer heat leaves your attic, it’s a good time to check its insulation level. Nothing affects the cost of maintaining your comfort year-round as much your attic. Improving the level is one of the most cost-effective and durable ways to enhance the energy efficiency of your home, and fall and winter are the ideal times to do it.
Inspecting the Attic
Dress appropriately for the visit to the attic. Wear a washable long-sleeved shirt and pants, and don a dust mask. The existing insulation in the attic and the dust that settle up there are respiratory irritants. If your home is older, check it for vermiculite insulation that may contain asbestos. You may need to have a contractor test it first for safety because asbestos is a known carcinogen.
Use a ruler or rigid tape measure to measure the levels. If you can see the tops of the joists at first glance, you need more. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends that homes in this climate have an insulation level of at least 10 inches of loose or batt insulation in the attic, and up to 20 inches.
If your attic doesn’t have a sturdy floor, lay planks or a sheet of plywood across the joists to walk through it. Look over the condition of the insulation throughout the entire attic to make sure it’s distributed evenly, not compressed, and no mold is present.
Looking for Leaks
As you explore the attic, you may see cracks and gaps around the vents, pipes, flues, wires, or recessed lighting fixtures that exit into the attic. Your HVAC system’s ductwork may also run through this area, and excessively dusty deposits near any part of it could signal ductwork leakage. Cracks and ductwork leaks drive up energy bills and should be sealed by an HVAC contractor.
After checking the insulation level, you’ll know whether it needs improvement. The next step is to contact Powers Heating & Air, serving Peachtree City homeowners, to learn more about increasing it and sealing the air leaks for greater home energy efficiency.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.
Credit/Copyright Attribution: “john-kasawa/Shutterstock”