Knowing that it is time for an insulation update in your attic is just the first step towards a more comfortable home here in Vermont. But once you have made the decision to replace your existing attic insulation, how do you know which material is best?
At EnergySmart of Vermont, we install two different types of insulation that we think are best suited to the New England climate, and will help keep the homes of our friends and neighbors as comfortable and energy efficient as possible.
Why Is Proper Insulation So Important?
The role your insulation plays in your overall home performance has been historically understated. It is more common for homeowners to assume that insulation only helps keep your home warm during the winter, but insulation actually works year round to keep your indoor temperatures stable and controlled.
The goal of your existing insulation is to slow down the transfer of heat between your indoor living space and the outdoors. This can happen through the materials that your home is made of in the attic, crawlspace, and exterior wall cavities. During the winter this means preventing heat from leaving your home, and during the summer it means preventing heat from entering your home.
Attic Insulation and Ice Dams
An improperly insulated attic can cause ice dams in the winter, especially in an area that sees as much snowfall as Vermont does each year. Insufficient insulation allows the heat from your furnace to escape up to the roof, where snow melts and drains to other, colder parts of the roof. Then it refreezes, creating drainage problems for future snowmelt.
Choosing Attic Insulation
The Department of Energy recommends that homes in the New England climate zone maintain attic insulation that is rated between R49 and R60. R-values like this are used to measure the heat-resistance of an insulation material — the higher the number, the higher the resistance. In order to increase your attic insulation efficiency, you need to choose the right material. EnergySmart installs two insulation types:
Cellulose insulation is made of recycled paper materials, and treated for fire resistance. It can be installed as a blown-in loose fill insulation in the attic, or can be blown into existing walls using a small drilled hole that is refilled after the job is done. We recommend cellulose as an environmentally and budget friendly option that is especially effective in the attic.
Rigid foam insulation has a high R-value, and comes with the added benefit of being air-tight. Plus, rigid foam insulation can add to the sound-proofing of your home, protecting your family from outdoor noise pollution. We recommend rigid foam insulation for both crawlspaces and attics, depending on the comfort needs of the home.
Do You Need New Attic Insulation?
If you suspect your attic is in need of blow-in cellulose insulation, or rigid foam insulation, the team at EnergySmart of Vermont has you covered. We can diagnose your current insulation issues, along with any other efficiency issues that are affecting your overall home performance, with a full home energy audit. From there, we can work towards your energy and comfort goals and come up with a targeted plan to help you save on your heating and cooling costs, without losing out on your reliable home comfort.