Importance of a well insulated attic
Oct 5, 2013 / 5:00 am
With the cold winter months fast approaching many homeowners are looking at ways to save money on the cost of their energy bills. A lot of focus is typically steered towards upgrading low/mid efficient furnaces with a new High Efficient Furnace thinking this will solve the problem. Definitely upgrading your furnace is a great way to save energy however there are other aspects of your home that should be considered that work in conjunction with space heating equipment. For instance without sufficient levels of insulation in your attic it doesn’t matter how efficient your heating system is, it will be working twice as hard to heat your home
because of the heat loss that would still exist in your home. Many older homes (20+ years old) that have not been upgraded could do with an upgrade in attic insulation.
The incremental cost of changing from existing levels to R‐values of 50 to 80 is very small given that blown fibrous insulation has the least marginal cost per R‐value of all products (e.g. the cost for an additional R10 given R30 or 40 is to be installed is very small), and thermal bridging does not have much impact, if any, as the ceiling joists are all covered by a reasonable depth of insulation. Other than requiring an airtight ceiling, the only changes required to achieve twice current code levels of R‐value are the provision of “high heel/raised heel” trusses or rafter designs to accommodate the increased amount of insulation at the end of
Providing a truly airtight ceiling plane is very important, and is the most difficult task as it requires changes to how designers design, contractors renovate and builders build. As the installed R‐value of insulation increases to R50, 60 or 80, the influence of even very small air leaks takes on great importance. Thus eliminating attic ductwork must be the first step, as well as sealing around all lights, partitions, access hatches, etc. Good attic ventilation is necessary to remove whatever moisture may leak into the attic space so that it does not accumulate. The roof sheathing will drop below air temperature (by 5 – 20° F) every clear
night, making condensation on the sheathing and framing of any water vapor in the airspace almost inevitable. Solar heating by the sun during the day can drive this moisture from the sheathing, but ventilation is required to remove it. Not only are there structural and energy savings benefits to upgrading your attic insulation there are also rebates available right now for doing so that will be running out soon!
Currently throughout the Okanagan, FortisBC is putting on an Energy Diet, where the cost of an energy evaluation to collect on these rebates has been drastically reduced from $300.00 to $60.00 and even less in some municipalities. Not only will you find out about your attic insulation but you will be given a detailed plan on everything you can do if you choose to, in order to make your home as energy efficient as possible, and what rebates are available for doing so!
To sign up for the Okanagan Energy Diet, click here.
Read more Think Globally Act Locally articles
- What is an Energy Efficiency Evaluation? Nov 30
- Energy efficient retrofits Nov 2
- Increased R-value in foundation walls Oct 22
- Importance of a well insulated attic Oct 5
- Okanagan Energy Diet: Part 2 Sep 21
- Okanagan Energy Diet: Part 1 Sep 7
- Importance of indoor air quality Jun 29
- Is your home energy efficient? May 29
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