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tips on how to insulate your attic for a warm and cozy home

Jeannie Hill - Saturday, January 11, 2014

How to Insulate Your Attic for a Warm and Cozy HomeTips on How to Insulate Your Attic for a Warm and Cozy Home

If your home is in the Twin Cities metro, keeping it warm in winter is expensive. The Department of Energy released predictions that prices for natural gas and heating oil will rise again on top of last year when we saw heating-oil prices sharply climb in most parts of the country. Insulating your Minneapolis house may be the best home improvement project you can make.

Ideally, to help you determine exactly how much protection your home may gain from the few inches of attic insulation, hire an energy auditor. The audit will also help you to pinpoint air leaks that are easy seal to make sure your insulation will do its job efficiently. But if you decide to do it yourself, here are some of the most important tips about how to insulate your attic for a warm and cozy winter.Heat rises naturally in your home, and if it is uninsulated, a quarter of your home's heat is lost through the roof. Insulating your loft, attic or flat roof is an easy and effective way to save those dollars and be more comfortable in a less drafty home.

When you are examining the roof and attic of your home, consider that with the right insulation, you have the opportunities for keeping up with Minneapolis green home improvement trends in the process. Regardless if you are replacing or repairing a existing roof, or gaining a new one, to keep your home cooler in summer and warmer in winter, will save money on utility bills.

Keep the Heat You Are Paying For In Your Home 

Home Destination offers the following homeowner tips on how to insulate your attic:

Insulate Your Attic By Increasing Its R-Value- Understand that the effect of R-values is cumulative. For example, if your attic has R-19 insulation and another layer of R-19 insulation is added, the insulation will have a value of R-38. First, create an air barrier by having all gaps and holes that pass through the ceiling into the attic sealed. A good air sealing and home insulation job will help prevent the warm, moist, air you have paid to heat your home with from escaping into the attic. This is key to beginning any attic insulation project for a success end result of lowering your home energy bills. Ceiling electrical boxes, exhaust fans, pot lights, wiring and duct penetrations, attic hatches, vent pipes and chimneys are locations that should be inspected and properly sealed.

Use Insulation Dams or Guards - If your attic is basically used for storage and you rarely go up there, and if space permits, you may want to have least a 71-centimeter (28-inch) layer of blown-in or batt-type insulation placed over top of your home's existing insulation. Whether you do the home improvement project or hire a contractor, you will want insulation dams or guards can installed to ensure this ventilation space isn't hindered by the new insulation.

Use Spray Foam Insulation To Prevent Wind Washing - Tight spaces are commonly found under the eaves where the roof passes over your home's exterior walls, try spray foam insulation for a better air seal and insulation level than can otherwise be achieved with batt-type or blown-in insulation. Many builders use pray foam insulation where needed to help avoid "wind washing" of the insulation. Minnesota winter winds can reduce a home's insulating value and create cold spots along the ceiling-wall intersection below the attic unless sealed properly.

Get Your Attic Airtight - Your attic access may be an attic hatch, pull-down stairs, or a knee-wall door; often these have been left uninsulated when the home was built. This gap in the attic insulation increases heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer. A 1/4-inch gap around the perimeter of an attic access can potentially leak the same amount of air supplied by a typical bedroom heating duct. By air sealing attic access, homeowners are able to greatly reduce heating and cooling costs. To prevent your home's heat from escaping through the attic hatch, insulate the hatch with RSI-5.3 (R-30) or similar high-R-value solid board insulation. Add weatherstripping that will fill in the gaps and latches to the hatch to help you gain an airtight seal.

How To Ensure Insulation Gets To the Corners - It can be challenging to reach the far corners of a home attic. One resolution is to have a Minneapolis home builder place planks through the roof truss members above the insulation layer to provide a surface to climb over. You will want to be able to reach every areas where energy-wasting, damage-causing gaps can be sealed with caulking, spray foam, plastic sheeting or weather stripping. Ask your local handyman or hardware store how each of which has its own benefits and drawbacks.

Ask About One Roof Over the Other- If the condition of the roof, tight working quarters, or a desire to change up the home's "look", it may be possible to install a new roof over top of the existing roof. Talk to your home builder to see if he recommends this for your home and if it means gaining more insulation than otherwise.

"After falling to the lowest monthly average of 2013 in November, U.S. regular gasoline retail prices increased slightly to reach an average of $3.28 per gallon (gal) during December. The annual average regular gasoline retail price, which was $3.51/gal in 2013, is expected to fall to $3.46/gal in 2014 and $3.39/gal in 2015." – U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Contact me at 612-396-7832 if you want to understand a home's condition including its insulation levels before buying a Minneapolis home.

Jenna Thuening, a Jenna Thuening, owner of Home Destination Minneapolis residential Realtor offers tips on how to insulate your attic for a warm and cozy home.

11200 W. 78th St
Eden Prairie, MN 55334 Phone: 612-396-7832
Jenna's home page: homedestination.com

If I'm out in the field, you may quickly reach me by email: jenna@homedestination.com and note how I can help you, or leave a message on my voicemail and I will return your call as quickly as possible.

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