Your attic insulation provides year-round protection from heat gain and loss, especially during peak times of the year. If your attic was never installed in adequate quantities or quality from the start, older insulation has broken down and no longer works, or the insulation has been damaged or removed destroyed as the result of pest infestations or water damage, you need to update it.
The question is, when is the best time to insulate your home? Busy schedules and the quick passage of time can mean losing the ideal opportunity to replace or update your home’s insulation in time to reap the cost-savings benefits.
Updating or replacing insulation is best done during the more moderate seasons when your HVAC system is powered off or only working at bare minimum levels. That way, licensed insulation contractors can provide a thorough inspection, estimate, and services before it’s critical for your whole home comfort and utility expenses.
Here in the Bay Area, spring and fall are the best times to inspect and replace insulation as needed. That way, your home is adequately insulated in time for the peak heat and cold seasons. Upgrading your insulation before the year’s highest- and lowest temperatures mean you gain instant savings benefits from your new insulation.
Energy.gov’s Energy Star page cites that adequate insulation that meets the Energy Efficiency guidelines and R-Values for your region, combined with proper air sealing, can save you as much as 20% on your utility bills each month. In almost all cases, necessary insulation replacement pays for itself via energy savings within a handful of years or less.
First, don’t forget that your crawl spaces – as well as your attic – should be evaluated when determining your home’s insulation needs.
If you know what you’re looking for, you can conduct your own DIY insulation to determine whether or not your home needs an insulation update or full-blown, insulation replacement. You’ll need to enter the crawl space under your home, and then take a good look at the insulation in your attic as well.
Signs that your home’s insulation needs repair or replacement include:
If your energy bills seem higher than usual, and there haven’t been any notable changes in your programmable thermostat, inadequate insulation could be the culprit. Also, make sure you’re observing your HVAC manufacturer’s schedule for maintenance.
If the insulation is original, your home is on the older side (15 to 20-years old or more), and you haven’t had your insulation inspected in a while, you’ll probably benefit from supplementation. Today’s insulation is superior to the products manufactured even 10 or 15 years ago. Not only have energy efficiency standards evolved in the past couple of decades, but insulation quality becomes compromised over the years by moisture, mold/mildew, movement of humans or rodents on top of it, etc. This means that older insulation is almost always in need of updating, amendment, or a full replacement.
The large majority of insulation found in Bay Area home is batt-style (like puffy blankets of insulation) and spray foam insulation. Both types are very attractive to pests, which burrow into it or chew it up for nesting material. In addition to posing a health risk, the quality of insulation is diminished, and insulation won’t work as it was designed to. Any evidence of pest infestations or damage should be handled and cleaned up immediately, including the replacement of damaged insulation.
Major leaks, burst pipes or other sources of water damage can instantly damage insulation. However, a chronic presence of moisture – even seasonal dampness – eventually leads to mold, mildew, and/or the inevitable breakdown of the insulation’s compounds. Once the cause of the water or moisture damage is identified and repaired, professional insulation installers can clean up the mess, remove the damaged insulation, and replace it.
All of a sudden, you’re experiencing drafts that don’t seem to be coming from the typical exterior door and window culprits. This is another sign that old or damaged insulation is no longer serving as the buffer between exterior walls and your interior rooms. Once old batts are replaced, your home’s interior temperature will be more consistent from room to room.
The fall season is a great time to update or replace insulation in your Bay Area Home. We recommend scheduling a consultation with at least two to three different contractors to learn more about what your house needs, to get a competitive estimate, and to get a feel for which company feels like the most trustworthy and qualified team for the job.
The team here at Attic Solutions has decades of experience under our belts, and we pride ourselves on being honest, hardworking, and dependable. Contact us to schedule a consultation and determine whether it’s the right time to insulate your home.