IS YOUR HOME GREEN?
Did you know most homes in Michigan are under insulated? Worse, 50% of your homes energy is lost through the attic! This condition not only hits your pocket book every month, but it can also cause severe damage to your roof.
When is the last time you checked your attic insulation? Come on, admit it, if you're like the rest of us, you probably have never thought about it. You probably just live with the chilly house in the winter, and hot house in the summer. You probably have your bills set on auto-pilot and just pay the energy company up to 50% more than you should be every single month!
We meet with homeowners every day who don't realize how much money they've cost themselves over time due to poor insulation. In fact, most homes in Michigan are older, and modern code has changed as energy prices have climbed. If your home wasn't built in the last 15 years, there is a very high chance you are under insulated. This can cost you money in energy bills, cause mold to grow in the attic, and cause the roof to leak or be damaged due to ice dams.
Time to stop procrastinating and start saving both money and your roof's integrity! In this article, I will show you what so many homeowners discovered once they decided to tackle insulation.
The attic above is in bad shape for two reasons. One, it's under ventilated, and two, there is not enough insulation. When hot air escapes into the attic during the winter, it hits the cold roof fasteners, and this causes them to sweat and drip. Dripping nail heads cause the insulation to settle further, and combined with warm spring/summer air can cause mold to grow.
Ice dams are caused for the same reason. That same hot air melts the snow at the top of the roof, and as it melts, it runs down and hits a literal "dam" of frozen ice at the eaves. This can cause water to run backwards under the shingles and leak into the home. Water is the most powerful thing on the planet. Think about it, just as glaciers carved out Michigan, just imagine what moving ice can do to your roof coverings!
This roof has severe ice dam damage. When we inspected the attic, we discovered there was only about 4" of insulation present. The ice dams were so bad they caused this roof to fail in just ten years! You can see how worn down the shingles are with the fiberglass reinforcement showing. Not only did the roof suffer, but the windows would have water coming in too, and the gutters also need replaced, as they have sagged due to the weight. Lack of insulation caused this homeowner to have to replace their roof, gutters, and window caps early as a result of too little insulation.
Did you know approx. 40-50% of your homes energy budget is spent on conditioning the space? Did you also know that adding the correct amount of attic insulation alone can save you up to and over 4 figures yearly! think about it, if your heating bill is $300 a month during peak usage and you cut that in half monthly, that can ad up quickly. Of course energy savings vary depending on a few factors, but we typically see homeowners saving between 40-50% by adding the correct amount of insulation.
Attic insulation can pay itself off within a few years just by energy savings alone. That's why we strongly recommend having your attic inspected by a qualified professional to determine where you stand.
So how Much insulation do you need? What is the best type? First, we live in zone 5 according to Energy Star. That means, at minimum, you need 16-18" on average. Keep in mind, that's "minimum" that we recommend going to an r60 (24"), if the attic allows it.
We recommend using loose fill blown-in fiberglass insulation, as opposed to rolled batts or cellulose (paper). We like fiberglass loose fill the best, as it works like a blanket with no gaps. It works as a continuous barrier to separate your home's conditioning from the hot or cold attic temp. Cellulose can compress over time due to humidity or water dripping on it. This loses efficacy. Rolled bats have spaces between them that will leak air, and it's difficult to fill nooks and attic crannies. Plus, it itches like hell if you ever have to go in your attic.
Not only will correct attic insulation save you thousands of dollars on energy bills, it will also make you more comfortable in the home you work so hard to keep. Did you know both Consumers energy and DTE will pay you to get this done! That's right, if you have your attic insulated you can qualify for a $125 rebate for a job that will save you money from day one!! This makes attic insulation a complete no brainer in Michigan. Also, if the government adds any tax credits, new insulation will qualify for their programs.
We hope this article was helpful. If you have any questions about your attic, we would be more than happy to inspect it for you. We perform all inspections/estimates free of charge. Our experts will gladly consult with you and make recommendations no matter who you choose to do the work. We also will give you an estimate in writing good for one year. No pressure, no gimmicks, just the facts! Call us now to start saving big! Home Exteriors of Michigan 1-855-255-0606