Many of our clients don’t understand the benefits of insulation until they are faced with the situation of having rats or squirrels destroy it. Only then do they realize that all the fluffy stuff in the attic is like a blanket that keeps their house warm throughout the long Milwaukee winters. Learn about how insulation works and why you need it.
Benefits of Insulation
Heat energy naturally moves from warm areas to cooler ones. This means that when the sun hits your roof on a hot summer day, it transfers energy to the air inside your attic and makes it feel warmer. In winter, the opposite situation occurs. As your heating system struggles to warm the inside of your home, the air loses a portion of its energy to cold walls and ceilings.
Without insulation, your heating and cooling systems are fighting a losing battle to maintain a constant temperature inside your home. You can see evidence of the struggle on your energy bill each month. By improving insulation, you could save up to $400 per year in wasted hot and cold air. Besides saving money, proper insulation provides these benefits:
- Makes your home more comfortable.
- Increases the resale value of your house.
- Lowers your personal carbon footprint.
- Keeps out mice and other creatures.
- Lengthens the life of wooden structures and water pipes.
Frequently Asked Questions About Insulation
What Is Insulation and How Does It Work?
Insulation is any material that resists the flow of heat energy through the air. Within the building industry, each type of material has an R-value that is a measure of its thermal resistance. Materials with the highest R-values make the best insulators. Based on Northeast Wisconsin’s climate zone, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends that Milwaukee attics contain insulation with values between R-49 and R-60.
How Much Insulation Do I Need?
The thicker the insulation, the less heat can travel through it. This is a situation similar to putting more blankets on your bed to stay warm on a cold night. However, there comes a point of diminishing returns. Multiple layers of insulation eventually crush the bottom pieces under their weight, condensing them and making them less effective. So depending on the type of insulation material, more is sometimes less.
Why Do I Have So Many Icicles Hanging From My Roof?
A home with a well-insulated attic will have a solid blanket of snow on the roof and no icicles. Icicles only occur when a freeze-thaw cycle is present, and are thus evidence of poor insulation. Heat is escaping through the roof, causing snow to melt and make its way to the eaves. Water gathers, freezes, and repeats. An excessive buildup of ice can also lead to water damage after the spring thaw.
Insulation Prevents Condensation
Condensation occurs when water vapor from the air becomes a liquid. You have seen this happen when a glass of ice water becomes wet on the outside. It can also happen during winter when warm air from inside your home touches cold, uninsulated surfaces such as:
- Hot water pipes.
- Attic ceilings.
- Attic windows.
In winter, the drops of moisture often re-freeze until spring. Once it melts, all that water drips onto the insulation, matting it down and decreasing its effectiveness. It also seeps into wooden frames and rafters, making them susceptible to rot and subsequent infestation by carpenter ants. You can avoid this situation by having sufficient insulation to begin with.
When there is condensation on water pipes, you run the risk of having them freeze and burst in the winter. Pipes need their own insulation, but just having enough regular insulation in your attic and crawlspace makes a big difference.
Insulation Makes Your House Quieter
If you live near downtown, then sounds of traffic and the train are simply a part of life. However, if these noises disturb your sleep even with all the windows shut, then insufficient insulation may be to blame. This is because insulation materials don’t just absorb heat, they also stop sounds from coming in from the outside.
Insulation can help lower the level of noises made within your home, too. Sound travels through the air in the form of mechanical waves that vibrate the air molecules directly in front of them. Insulation absorbs and decreases the amplitude of these waves when they hit the walls, rather than reflecting them back out into the room.
Insulation Is Good for the Environment
People don’t usually think of their homes as emitting greenhouse gasses that harm the environment. However, the energy you use for heating and cooling has to come from somewhere, and most sources in the U.S. still depend on fossil fuels. Having a well-insulated home means you use less energy and are thus doing your part to help the environment.
Furthermore, when you choose cellulose insulation, you are reusing materials that would otherwise go into a landfill. Cellulose is made from recycled newspapers, meaning no one cut down additional trees to make it. It is one of many new eco-friendly building materials now on the market.
Benefits of Insulation That Skedaddle Installs
Skedaddle is famous for providing wildlife removal, but many people are not aware that we also replace insulation. This procedure is often necessary after raccoons or rodents have damaged an attic or used insulation to build their nests.
We recommend and install natural cellulose insulation for the following reasons:
- Cellulose has an excellent R-value, meaning it is a superior insulating material. This value decreases over time at a much slower rate than the R-values of other materials do.
- It becomes airtight after installation, filling in every nook and cranny where heat might escape. This characteristic also helps to deter rodents.
- Because cellulose is a natural product, it is non-toxic and non-carcinogenic, and does not irritate skin when you touch it.
- Cellulose insulation resists insects and mold.
If you have concerns about what might be going on in your attic, one of our friendly technicians would love to talk to you about the benefits of insulation. Contact Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control by filling out our online form or giving us a call!