The Impact of Attic Insulation on Home Resale Value: Is It Worth the Investment?
There are so many variables that potential homeowners consider when they set out to buy a home. While there are plenty of personal preferences (certain fixtures, fireplaces, two-car garage, etc.) there are also a tried and true list of factors that, especially these days, weigh in heavier than ever before. One of these is energy efficiency. If you are thinking about putting your home on the market, consider the quality and efficiency of your current attic insulation and what you can do now to increase your property’s value.
Is it Good to Insulate My Attic?
Insulating your attic is generally a good idea and is considered a superior energy efficient upgrade. It can provide several benefits including:
- Energy savings: By preventing heat transfer between your attic and the living space, insulation can help you reduce your heating and cooling costs.
- Increased comfort: Insulation can help regulate the temperature and humidity levels in your home, making it more comfortable to live in.
- Extended roof lifespan: Proper insulation can help prevent ice dams from forming on your roof, which can cause damage and shorten its lifespan.
- Reduced noise: Insulation can also help reduce outside noise from entering your home, providing a quieter living environment.
How Much Does New Insulation Increase Home Value?
The value that new insulation can add to a home varies depending on factors such as the type and quality of the insulation, the local housing market, and the existing condition of the home.
Adding new insulation can definitely help increase a home’s energy efficiency, which is a desirable feature for potential buyers. Energy-efficient homes can help reduce energy bills, and homebuyers will find that to be an attractive selling point. Proper insulation can help prevent moisture and air leaks, which protect the home from damage and improve indoor air quality. An effective moisture barrier can work in conjunction with attic insulation and will prevent moisture from entering the attic from the living space below.
According to a study by the National Association of Realtors, adding insulation to an attic is one of the best home improvements that can add value to a home. The study found that homeowners can recoup an average of 108% of the cost of attic insulation in added home value when they sell their home.
What Type of Insulation is Best for My Attic?
The type of insulation that is best for your attic depends on a variety of factors, such as your budget, the climate in your area, and the condition of your attic. Here are five common types of attic insulation:
- Fiberglass insulation: Fiberglass is a popular choice for attic insulation because it is affordable and widely available. It is made from recycled glass and is available in batts, rolls or loose-fill forms. Fiberglass is also fire-resistant and does not absorb moisture, which can help prevent mold and mildew growth.
- Cellulose insulation: Cellulose is another type of loose-fill insulation that is made from recycled paper products. It is treated with fire-retardant chemicals and can provide excellent soundproofing. It can, however, settle over time, reducing its effectiveness.
- Spray foam insulation: Spray foam insulation is a newer type of insulation that is sprayed directly onto the surfaces of your attic. It can provide excellent air sealing and insulation properties and help to prevent drafts while reducing energy costs.
- Radiant barrier insulation: Radiant barrier insulation is a type of reflective material that is installed on the underside of your roof rafters. It can help reflect heat back out of your attic, reducing cooling costs in the summer.
- Mineral wood insulation: Mineral wool insulation is made from natural or synthetic minerals such as rock, slag, or glass that are melted and spun into fibers. These fibers are then formed into batts, rolls, or loose-fill insulation. Mineral wool insulation is known for its fire resistance, high temperature resistance, and ability to absorb sound.
How Much Can I Save by Insulating My Attic?
The energy efficiency and money you save by insulating your attic will depend on the type of heating and cooling system you have, your geographical climate, and the current level of insulation in your attic. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, homeowners can see, on average, a savings of up to 20% on their heating and cooling costs by properly insulating their attic. This is a tremendous benefit to offer to those who are interested in purchasing your home.
Can I Put Too Much Insulation In My Attic?
Yes, you can put too much insulation into your attic. Over-insulating your attic can lead to several issues, including:
- Reduced ventilation: Insulation that is too thick or compressed can block proper ventilation in your attic, which can lead to moisture buildup and mold growth.
- Excessive weight: Too much insulation can add weight to your attic, which can put strain on your ceilings and walls.
- Fire hazard: Insulation that is packed too tightly can increase the risk of fire in your attic by preventing proper airflow and trapping heat.
To avoid these issues, it’s important to follow the recommended R-value (thermal resistance) for your area and the type of insulation you are using. The recommended R-value can vary depending on the climate zone, so it’s important to consult with a professional insulation contractor such as the experts at Attic Construction for the appropriate level of insulation for your home.
So What Should My R Value Be?
The recommended R-Value for attic insulation varies depending on the climate zone in which you live. The R-Value is a measure of the insulation’s resistance to heat flow and the higher the R-Value, the more effective the insulation is at reducing heat transfer. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends various R-Values for different climates – or “Zones.”
- Zone 1 (hot): R30 to R60
- Zone 2 (warm): R30 to R60
- Zone 3 (mixed): R30 to R60
- Zone 4 (cold): R49 to R60
- Zone 5 (very cold): R49 to R60
- Zone 6 (extremely cold): R49 to R60
The exact R-Value that you need in your attic will also depend on other factors including your home’s construction and your heating and cooling system.
R-38 insulation, for example, will be better at reducing heat transfer than R30 insulation which will prove useful in warm and hot climate zones. However, there are other variables to take into consideration when determining the correct R-value insulation including the quality of the installation and the effectiveness of air sealing.
What Factors Influence Attic Insulation Costs?
There are many factors that influence how much your attic insulation will cost including:
- Size of the attic: The larger the attic, the more insulation material will be required, which can increase the cost.
- Type of insulation material: Different types of insulation have different costs per square foot, and some materials may require additional costs for installation, such as spray foam insulation.
- Insulation R-value: The higher the R-value, the more insulation material will be required to achieve the desired level of insulation, which can increase the cost.
- Accessibility of the attic: If the attic is difficult to access, such as through a small opening or with limited headroom, the cost of installation may be higher due to the additional labor required.
- Local labor costs: Labor costs can vary depending on the location and availability of insulation contractors in your area.
- Condition of the attic: If the attic requires additional work, such as air sealing or removal of existing insulation, the cost of installation may be higher.
- Building codes and regulations: Local building codes may require specific levels of insulation, which can impact the cost of installation.
Which is Better? Blown or Rolled Insulation?
Both blown and rolled insulation can be effective at insulating an attic. The best option for your home depends on your budget, the size and shape of your attic, and your desired level of insulation.
Blown-in insulation, also known as loose-fill insulation, is made of loose fibers or particles that are blown into the attic using a machine. This type of insulation is often preferred for attics with irregular shapes or hard-to-reach places, as it can be more easily distributed in these areas. Blown-in insulation can also provide better coverage and reduce air leaks when properly installed.
Rolled insulation, also known as batt insulation, comes in pre-cut rolls and is installed by unrolling the material onto the attic floor or between the joists. This type of insulation is often preferred for attics with flat, even surfaces and standard joist spacing. Rolled insulation tends to be less expensive than blown-in insulation.
Both blown-in and rolled insulation can be effective at insulating an attic, but it’s important to choose the right type of insulation for your specific attic and to ensure that it is installed properly.
Adding properly installed, quality attic insulation to your home will make your home more valuable in the eyes of a potential homeowner by upgrading energy efficiency and improving comfort in the home.
If you are interested in improving the resale value of your home by adding or upgrading your attic insulation, contact the experts at Attic Construction. We’ve been providing families in the American Southwest with highly-experienced, professional installations since 2011.
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Written By Joseph Sheiner
Joseph Sheiner is a construction industry professional with over 15 years of experience. He began his career in the insulation industry in 2012, and co-founded Attic Construction Inc in 2013. As CEO of the company, Joe oversees all operations and is in charge of training and product knowledge.
Under Joe’s leadership, Attic Construction has become the largest leading Attic Restoration Company in San Diego, Orange County and Phoenix. He has personally performed and supervised insulation work in over 7000 homes. He is certified by Owens Corning as a CEE (Certified Energy Expert) and is a licensed contractor by the CSLB.
Most recently, Joe has helped expand Attic Construction to two additional locations – Orange County and Phoenix. He is currently working on expanding to additional locations in the near future.
Great work! Our attic went from totally disgusting to pristine. They are courteous and professional and clean up after themselves.
-Karen L. Santee, CA
Andrew was very informative and helpful during the whole process. Excellent communication and his team did a great job. He came on Sunday and the work was done and completed by Tuesday. Highly recommend to anyone who is looking for a fair prices and great service.
– Joey E. San Diego, CA