What Is A Good Amount Of Attic Insulation In Cold Climates?
It’s hard to believe that fall is already here again. But after a long summer of sunny, warm days, the evenings are already getting cooler. It won’t be long before the whole world is draped in vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow and the chilly mornings have us reaching for our warmer jackets.
So, if your attic insulation isn’t up to the challenge of winter weather, fall is a good time to schedule an insulation upgrade. Having the correct amount of insulation for our cold Minnesota climate is key to maintaining your home’s temperature throughout the year, whether it’s cold or hot outside.
The recommended R-Value for attic insulation in Minnesota is 49. If you’re concerned about drafts or outsized energy bills this winter, our attic insulation and roofing contractors at Powers Premier Contracting can help!
Let’s discuss how to ensure your home has the right insulation for whatever winter brings.
The Importance of Good Insulation
Insulation is a necessary component in every home. It helps to maintain the temperature inside your home so it remains comfortable no matter what the temperature is outside.
High-performance insulation can also help to reduce your home’s energy footprint and lower your energy costs. When your insulation is inadequate, it can drive up your bills, causing your furnace or air conditioner to have to work harder and creating wear and tear on your HVAC system. On the other hand, upgrading your insulation remains the best way to help keep energy use down in a home.
The best way to make sure your insulation is up to the task is with a professional energy audit from an expert.
Signs Your Insulation Needs Improvement
If your home was built before 1970, professional roofing contractors recommend having an energy audit conducted. But there are other reasons your insulation may need to be upgraded as well.
Here are a few signs to watch out for that indicate your insulation needs to be improved!
1. Moisture in the Attic
If there’s moisture inside your attic, your insulation is likely moist and unable to do its job. If there’s a suspected leak in your roof, it’s important to have your roof inspected right away as even minor damage can worsen over the winter.
Once your roof has been repaired, you’ll also need to have your insulation replaced.
2. Poor Insulation Condition
During an energy audit, an exterior remodeling contractor will check the condition of your insulation. Often, older insulation was manufactured using materials that are no longer considered safe and do not meet today’s building codes.
If your insulation shows signs of being in poor condition or is deteriorating, it needs to be replaced with new material that meets modern building codes and is manufactured for cold weather climates. We can safely remove the old materials in compliance with local regulations and safe construction standards.
3. Cold Temperatures in Your Home
Think back to last winter and how well your home’s temperature was regulated. Did you reach for blankets or wear extra layers when your furnace was already working hard? Were some rooms strangely hotter than expected while others were frozen tundras?
The problem isn’t likely your HVAC system but your insulation. If your home feels colder than expected during the winter, it’s a good indicator that your insulation needs attention.
4. Icicles and Ice Dams
Although icicles can be pretty, they’re actually a sign of trouble with your home’s insulation. Icicles and ice dams are formed when the heat rises from within your home, heating the attic and roof and causing snow or ice to melt.
Once that melted snow and ice moves to the edge of your roof, it creates icicles and ice dams that can damage your roof and gutters. In a well-insulated attic, on the other hand, heat should escape through your home’s vents.
What Is R-Value?
R-Value or thermal resistance is the extent to which an insulating material can resist heat conduction. It measures how efficient an insulation agent is with regard to heat conduction. The higher the R-value of insulation material, the more effective it will be in preventing heat flow from one point to another.
R-value is vital in insulation; hence, homeowners are encouraged to check the R-Value of any insulation material before making a purchase. In home improvement, the R-Value of insulation materials ranges from R-10 to R-60.
Increasing the R-Value of your insulation sometimes requires spending more money to add more insulation to different areas of your home.
Aside from adding more insulation to your home, another way to make your insulation more effective and of course, increase your home’s thermal resistance is to choose strategic places to insulate. For example, places such as the attic, basement and ceiling are some of the best areas to insulate if you want the best insulation result in your home.
Why Spray Foam Insulation is the Best Type of Insulation
There are many types of insulation for homeowners to choose from, but spray foam insulation has an efficiency that is second to none. Spray foam insulation has a long history dating back to the 1980s and offers many benefits.
One of the main reasons to choose spray foam insulation from the rest is its ability to air-seal quickly. Experience has shown that spray foam offers a better air barrier to the spaces it is applied and also helps to prevent rot which could lead to devastating damage in your home.
In addition, spray foam insulation is easy to install. Although the process is simple, it’s better left in the hands of insulation experts. Also, spray foam insulation can penetrate the tiniest of spaces, thereby reaching every space that needs to be insulated in your home.
Cold Weather Insulation
Along with a home’s doors, windows, roof, and siding, insulation is one component of a home’s thermal envelope. Think of a thermal envelope as the protective bubble that helps maintain a home’s temperature. To create that thermal envelope, it’s necessary to seal off any points of air infiltration.
Minnesota homes require a higher level of insulation than homes in warmer regions. It’s important to use techniques and insulation materials that are meant for cold-weather climates, but there’s no one-size-fits-all solution that fits every home.
Exterior remodeling contractors will need to consider the style and age of a home when determining how much insulation is needed.
Schedule Your Minnetonka Insulation and Roofing Services
Fall is an ideal time to assess your insulation and prepare your home for winter. With energy costs only expected to rise, sooner is better when it comes to making energy-smart upgrades in your home.
To learn more about insulation and roofing services for your home, speak to one of our exterior remodeling contractors by calling us at 612-710-7283. You can also message us online for a free insulation or remodeling estimate. Give us a call today!