September 29, 2017
Now that summer’s officially over and temperatures are getting more comfortable, it’s a good time to start thinking about those home improvement projects you’ve been putting off, like sealing attic air leaks and improving insulation levels.
Even if you have adequate attic insulation, finding and sealing air leaks air leaks will improve insulation performance and make for a much more comfortable and energy-efficient home.
Here are some of the substantial benefits you will enjoy after spending a day or two sealing attic air leaks:
But there are some things you should know before you attempt this complicated DIY project.
Although finding and sealing attic air leaks is an intensive DIY project, it’s certainly something that most homeowners can accomplish on their own. If, however, you run into any of the following circumstances, it’s probably best to call a professional to deal with them first:
Be on the lookout for all of these things when searching for air leaks in the attic. If you come across moisture, electrical, or ventilation problems, contact a professional right away.
WARNING: If you think you may have vermiculite insulation (which contains asbestos), contact your local health department for the name of an approved professional/lab.
In addition to this post, refer to A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Sealing and Insulating with Energy Star and The Family Handyman Guide for Sealing Attic Leaks. We recommend reading the full guides before attempting any DIY attic air sealing or insulation projects.
One unfortunate consequence of finding and sealing air leaks around your home is that you could potentially create a situation where indoor air pollutants and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have nowhere to escape. When you start making significant improvements to indoor insulation, it’s important to call in an HVAC professional to address any potential indoor air quality and ventilation concerns.
If there isn’t enough ventilation in your home and attic, a professional technician may recommend adding ventilation fans to flush out stale air and improve indoor air quality.
To make sure that your heating system is properly venting to the outside, it’s important to schedule annual heating maintenance every fall from a professional HVAC technician.
Any time you make significant improvements to your home’s insulation levels, we highly recommend calling a professional HVAC company to inspect your home for proper ventilation levels.
If you can see your attic floor joists, you probably need to add some extra attic insulation. But before you start thinking about increasing attic insulation, measure it to make sure. All you’ll need is a ruler or yardstick, gloves, and a dust mask.
Watch this video for more information on measuring your attic insulation:
Use this R-value map from Energy Star for the insulation requirements in your area.
Once you determine that your home could benefit from more attic insulation, you have two main choices: loose fill or batts/rolls.
You can mix and match the different insulation types, but if you choose the loose fill option, you’ll probably want to hire a professional since this requires a large blowing machine. You can also rent this equipment, but the effort is often not worth the savings.
Learn more attic insulation tips from ENERGY STAR.
Service Champions is known for trustworthy, on-time home service throughout the East Bay, South Bay, and Sacramento areas.
Interested in more ideas on how to winterize your home? Contact Service Champions for more advice.