Attic - Walls - Floors - Basement - Crawl Space - Insulation

Installing Insulation: When to Update and How to Do it

Published by Rease at 5:51 PM under Blog

Much like every other part of your home, insulation needs an occasional update. All types of insulation hold their original R-Value for about 15 years. Remember, R-Value is a measurement of thermal resistance or heat transfer. The higher R-value a building has, the more resistant it will be to heat flow.
Insulation will maintain its R-Value for around 15 years as long as it was properly installed. That means that insulation installed at 10" will sink down to around 6" after those 15 years. If the contractors cheated a bit, the R-Value will have sunk even lower.

How Do Contractors Cheat?

Some contractors may fluff up the insulation more than it should be, which makes the attic look nice and full, for a short period of time. However, within a few weeks, the fluffed-up insulation will settle down quite a bit, leaving you with significantly less insulation than you need. This little trick saves the contractors money on material costs, while you get charged for the full amount. You can check on your attic a few weeks after installing insulation, but chances are you wouldn't even know what to look for. It's best to use a contractor you trust.

How will diminished R-Value affect the efficiency of my home? 

Insulation that has settled will still have some R-Value, but the lower the R-Value, the less efficient your insulation will be. Updating your insulation will help keep your heat in during the winter and your cool air in during the summer without making your heating and cooling systems work overtime, which will cost you big time on your energy bills.

Can I just add more insulation on top of what I already have?

While you can simply top off your insulation to get back up to the proper R-Value, it is not the recommended route. The downside of using this technique is that attics have a limited amount of space, which limit the capacity for insulation. Leaving the old insulation in will limit your ability to get to a higher R-Value. Another downside is that the old insulation will be dirty. This dirt can be brought into the house, polluting the air in your home.

What's the best solution?

 The most effective solution would be our Hybrid System. This system uses a combination of spray foam (which will never settle) and cellulose. This system will last for 25 years or more. If the Hybrid System is not for you, you will need to remove your old insulation and install new insulation every 15 years.


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