There's no way to avoid it: If your house is located in a colder climate, maintaining its warmth during the winter months is very expensive. But research has shown that if you have an unfinished attic, giving it the appropriate insulation can be one of the easiest and most affordable ways to keep a relatively low heating bill during the cold months. The US Department of Energy estimates that a well-insulated attic can save you between 10 to 50 per cent of your average heating bill. That’s a lot of money that you can use for other house maintenance jobs. Plus, this works the opposite way in warmer climates; during summer, a well-insulated attic will help stabilize your house's indoor temperatures; keeping it cool.
Also, an attic that has poor insulation might allow for excess humidity in places that aren’t insulated. Though this may seem like a trivial problem at first, the moisture builds up will ultimately lead to some bigger (more expensive) issues. Some of these issues will be mold growth. Once mold starts to in your attic, it soon starts to mess with the air quality of your home. Mold can be hard to get rid of, that’s why you want to avoid it at all costs.
How to get started with Attic Insulation
Evaluate the current condition
Before you start adding any insulation, first make a thorough assessment of the condition of your attic. This may require you to get assistance from a professional like an architect or builder.
Stop using your attic for storage
Why? Because the easiest and most affordable way to insulate an attic is to add insulation material to the floor. But if your attic floor is covered in plywood and boxes, you won’t be able to properly insulate it. Find alternative storage options so that you insulate the floor properly. You can put a new layer of insulation on top of the old one. Make sure the area is dry during installation so that you don’t have a mold issue.
Seal the space properly
You must keep the space dry. Moisture should be avoided. Plug any holes, cracks and all other gaps that can be potential entry points for water and air transfer between the inside and the outside. This will greatly help in keeping the desired temperature. Common approaches for air sealing include plugging the holes with expanding foam and caulk.
Choose the right insulation solution
This is largely reliant on your needs, budget and weather conditions of where you live. There are many types of insulation to choose from, including spray foam, blown-in cellulose and batt (such as fiberglass, mineral wool or cotton).
Properly installing your attic insulation can be considered a worthwhile long-term investment as it can significantly decrease your heating bill and save you a few dollars. Also, the insulation works in the summer months. If it gets hot, it will help to maintain cool temperatures inside your house and reduce your air conditioning bill. Great insulation can be seen as an all-round weather solution to help you stay comfortable throughout the year.