As fall approaches it’s time to consider options to weatherize your home. This means making improvements that can help improve comfort and lower energy bills, in the winter months and beyond. For homeowners trying to prioritize their home improvement dollars, and time, the question of what to focus on first often comes up. We’re going to make the case for attic insulation, as new data has come to light regarding its benefits.
- Best Home Improvement Return on Investment. Remodeling Magazine publishes an annual “Cost vs. Value” report in which they show national and regional average prices for a set of typical home improvements, as well as the payback of these improvements in terms of enhanced home value. 2016 was the first time insulation was included, specifically, adding fiberglass attic insulation. This home improvement came in atop the list with a whopping 117% ROI. That means it more than pays for itself in terms of added value to your home. Adding insulation was long known to save energy, but now we know it also adds value to your home.
- 90% of US homes are under-insulated. Data derived from Boston University research has revealed that the vast majority of US homes are not sufficiently insulated to modern standards. Building codes for new homes have increased their requirements for insulation, but most homes are older and can benefit from having their insulation brought up to modern standards.
- It’s easy to find out if you need more insulation. Learning if you’re one of the 90% is simple. The US Energy Star program runs an annual “Rule Your Attic” campaign, encouraging people to check their attic insulation levels to see if more is needed. All it takes is a tape measurer and a couple minutes to check out your attic against the graphic below. If you are in the red, you are a prime candidate for more attic insulation.
- It can be a half weekend DIY project. Fiberglass attic insulation is available at any nearby home center, as well as many lumber yards and other locations. Doing it yourself doesn’t require much special equipment, just some time and attention to detail. We have a variety of resources for homeowners looking to do the work themselves as well as those who want to understand what’s involved with hiring a pro.
Adding attic insulation certainly doesn’t have the aesthetic appeal of some other home improvement projects, but given that it is an easy project to do and provides such a big return on your investment, of both time and money, it is still worth considering.
 90% under-insulated homes estimate derived by NAIMA based on Boston University study. “Under-insulated” here means when compared to the minimum prescriptive wall and ceiling insulation R-values found in the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC)