Attic Insulation: Does my home have enough?

When thinking about home improvements and ways to make your home more energy efficient, most think about purchasing new windows, or watching how they use electricity in their homes. Attic insulation can be just as important as other home improvement projects to ensure that your home is ready for all of the climates Wisconsin has to offer.

Most homes in the U.S. do not have enough insulation. An estimated 60% of homes do not meet the level of needed insulation to keep energy bills at their lowest. The odds are stacked against us, since more than half of all homes do not have proper attic insulation.

Adequate insulation provides temperature control. Feel the ceiling in the top level of your home on any given afternoon. Can you feel a temperature difference? The difference can come from the sun beating down on your roof all day long, heating your attic. Oftentimes when the attic is not properly insulated, you can feel the temperature difference as you climb the stairs during the summertime. Adequate attic insulation can help keep the warmth in the attic and avoid unnecessary hot flashes every time you go upstairs.

My home is more than 10 years old. Chances are, unless you have recently added insulation to your attic, the levels of insulation are lacking. Newer homes may or may not have the proper levels of insulation and should also be checked.

How much insulation should I have? According to the U.S. Department of Energy, it’s all in the R value. (A number used to measure the resistance of heat flow a material has – the larger the number, the more resistant.) This number should be between 49 and 60 for attic insulation.