When retrofitting your home for energy efficiency, it’s important to take into consideration many factors that will affect the upgrade you want to make. Things like: What is the best choice for energy efficient appliances? Are my windows properly sealed? Do I have air infiltration in my home? Are there any leaks that expose my roofing system to the elements?
One major consideration when retrofitting your attic with new insulation is whether the old insulation is serving any useful purpose. If not, it’s best to remove older attic insulation before new attic insulation is installed. The first point to consider is when the house you live was built; the older the home, the older the materials that were used to insulate the attic. Insulation removal should coincide with the risks those materials posed to the health of residents of the home. Homes built in the 1950’s-1960’s had attic insulation that consisted of cotton ball type materials and in general weren’t very efficient when it came to keeping heat in and cold out. Thus, if your home is in that range of age, insulation removal should be a conscious decision to make as an upgrade to newer, more energy efficient materials.
Experts have told that 40% of a home’s heat release goes directly through the roof due to poor or no attic insulation. On the other hand, a properly insulated attic can return savings of 20-30% on a home’s heating and cooling bills over the year. Another benefit of insulation is that it curtails fossil fuel use, which is a benefit to the environment that produces health benefits going forward.
Utility costs can have a direct affect on the decision for insulation removal. As mentioned, poor attic insulation is costly. When the heating or cooling systems kick on because of the cold drafts or hot air filtering in, this will cause costs to rise because the attic insulation isn’t doing its job. That is as good a time as any for insulation removal, and adding insulation that will provide the necessary R-value to help your home become energy efficient. Dirty attic insulation is the scourge of the attic and when that situation is encountered, insulation removal is a must due to potential contamination. Rodents and birds can infest an attic and they bring disease in the form of fecal droppings, which can cause infection to residents of the home. Insulation removal can prevent the transmission of disease that could be fatal if left unchecked.
Inconsistent room temperatures in the upper part of the house is a problem that poor insulation causes. To stabilize a home’s temperatures throughout the house, insulation removal from where the insulation is underperforming will help regulate the temperatures and provide a cozy environment to dwell in. If your roofing system has experienced damage due to a storm or another weather event, the watertight seal your attic needs to work at peak efficiency has been compromised. If the attic insulation has become wet, insulation removal is the only course of action to take because the insulation will lose R-value if it isn’t dry. Another problem that can occur in the attic comes in the form of mold and mildew. Mold and mildew can be caused by a couple of different factors. If moisture is building up in the attic due to overheating, moisture will penetrate the wooden structures in the roof – like the trusses and decking – and it is inevitable that insulation removal will be the first order of business to protect the structural integrity of the roofing system.
For best results, call a professional if you believe your attic insulation isn’t working properly or has been compromised to have an insulation removal from your attic performed. They have all the equipment necessary to do the job and the expertise to remove any damaged or contaminated insulation to prevent any health hazards.
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