Special to Postmedia Network
Excessive energy bills can be a concern in spring and summer, just as much as they are in the winter. So how can you save money while keeping your home cool? The solution is simple: Top up your attic insulation.
A poorly insulated attic is a primary source of energy loss, forcing your AC unit to work harder than necessary over the warmer months. Most attics are insulated, but oftentimes the amount of insulation present is inadequate — especially in older homes. Over time, insulation can settle and compact, allowing heat to escape through gaps.
Topping it up is easy. Ideally, you want to aim for a depth of 16 inches of insulation for an overall R-value of 50. When existing insulation is present, simply level existing insulation to the top of the joist. Lay a fire- and moisture-resistant batt insulation on top of joists, running perpendicular to the first layer.
Ensure batts are butted against each other tightly. Fit batts closely to cross joists; cut batt if necessary (this can be done easily with a serrated blade or bread knife) and leave no space between layers. Don’t forget to insulate the attic hatch to the same level as the rest of the attic. Apply weather-stripping to the edge of the hatch to reduce air leakage.
Keep in mind that only IC-rated electrical fixtures can have insulation placed with zero clearance. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and local building code to insulate around the chimney.
When a house is insulated properly, energy savings can add up over time. Remember, insulation starts working the moment it is installed and can last for the life of the building.