More and more homeowners are becoming aware of upgrades they can make to their homes to save energy.
Energy costs are some of the larger costs that people pay when they own a home.
When you have a chance to lower your energy costs in any way, you should take it.
One way that many people attempt to lower their energy costs is by sealing the attic.
This is a process that can be a bit costly, and you have to carefully consider whether or not it would be worth it for your home.
Here is some of our best advice about whether sealing an attic is worth it.
Is Air Sealing the Attic Worth It?
Air sealing the attic is a great way to reduce energy leaks in the home, and the cost to air seal your attic will seriously decrease your home energy costs.
The attic is one of the most common spots for air to leak out of your home.
It really doesn’t matter whether your home is old or new, it is going to lose some air through the attic.
There are spots around pipes, holes, framing, and even wires that are very likely not adequately covered or sealed.
This ends up making things difficult when it comes to controlling the air temperature in the home.
The air will naturally travel to these locations that will not keep it in, and this ends up causing heat loss, cool air loss, and moisture problems.
Depending on the shape of your roof and the age of your home, the air leak issues in your attic could be worse than you think.
The best way to go about this is to make sure that you seal your attic.
Deciding about air sealing the attic can be a bit difficult.
If you have the air sealing process completed and the company that did it is not all that knowledgeable about what they are doing, you will have wasted quite a bit of money.
This is a process that you need to have a basic understanding of before you hire a company to complete it.
Here are some of the things to consider before getting your attic air sealed.
Things to Consider Before Air Sealing Your Attic
Before you can move forward with the air sealing of your attic, you should consider the following things.
Each of these will have an impact on whether or not this process is going to be worth it for you.
1. Age of The Home
How old is your current home?
If you are living in a home that is very old, chances are you are going to see the biggest benefit from air sealing the home.
Unfortunately, you will also pay the highest cost for the air sealing process.
Older homes were not built with energy efficiency in mind.
In fact, many new homes are not built to be energy-efficient either.
Most people look at costs and the ease of the build when they are putting a house together.
It takes a specific type of builder to be interested in the energy efficiency of a home.
If you are having a newer home built, you are going to want to talk to the builders about constructing the home in a very energy-efficient way.
The more time you take to make sure the home is energy-efficient, the less money you will spend in the long term.
Another factor that will play into this process is insulation.
If you have the proper insulation in place, the process of air sealing the attic could be a bit easier.
You may be able to use some of the insulation that you have in place to get through this process, or you may have to replace the insulation completely.
If you have to change out the insulation that you have in place, you will end up paying quite a bit more money.
The insulation process tends to get messy and requires some extra time and equipment.
This makes the overall process harder to deal with and more costly.
Talk to your contractor about the type of insulation you have in place so that you can see if this is going to play into your overall decision.
3. Proper Testing of Air Seal
To know if an attic is genuinely sealed, you are going to need to have the ability to test the air sealing properly.
This requires the use of blowers and highly specialized equipment.
The professionals who are doing this process spend just as much time testing as they do working to create the air seal in your attic.
If they don’t test the attic properly and there ends up being a leak of air, the entire thing is going to be useless.
This is why it is so important to choose a company that knows how to properly test and make sure that your attic is sealed.
The best companies out there will show you the areas where the air is leaking and how they will go about fixing them.
With modern camera equipment, this is something that you should easily be able to see.
Overall, you want to know precisely what you are paying for and whether or not it is necessary to get what you need.
4. Estimate of Energy Savings
Prior to air sealing your attic, you should be given an estimate of the energy savings.
Companies that have a good handle on all that is involved when it comes to energy costs and savings will be able to give you a very accurate estimate.
They may ask for your current energy bills to get an idea of how often you are running your home heating and cooling systems.
Another great thing about the air sealing process is that once it is completed, you may actually be able to get your home cooler or warmer without having to spend so much on energy.
If you are one of those people who has to watch the thermostat closely to make sure that it does not get too expensive in your home, this is something to seriously consider.
If you find out that your energy costs are only going to be slightly reduced, you may find that it’s really not worth investing in this process at the current time.
You may be better off waiting until you are able to find some other solutions or a cheaper way to decrease your energy costs.
Sometimes outdated heating or cooling equipment can be a better upgrade for the home.
5. Climate Where You Live
If you live in a relatively mild climate, air sealing may not be worth the cost.
The process of air sealing is likely going to be quite expensive, and if you are not running your heat or your AC all that often, there is really no reason to invest the money.
Of course, your home will be more energy-efficient, but you won’t notice the decrease in the costs enough to make it feel worth it.
Those who see the most benefit from air sealing their attic live in climates where they have to deal with extremely high or low temperatures.
If you live in Florida and have to run your air conditioner 24 hours a day for six months of the year, you will want to look into the most energy-efficient ways to do things.
Keep this in mind when you are building as well so that you can set your home up the proper way from the start.
6. How Long You Will Live in Home
As with any type of home improvement on your house, you will want to consider how much use you will get out of it.
Are you only temporarily living in the area?
Do you think that you will be flipping this house in a few years for a bigger and better one?
Think carefully about the cost of the air sealing versus the return on your investment.
When you sell the house, will you get back the money you put in because the attic was air sealed?
If you are paying a few thousand dollars, chances are you will get your money back.
If, however, the cost is closer to $10,000 or more, you may have a hard time getting your money back from the process.
Sometimes it is not safe to air seal an attic.
If you have a fireplace or other vented system and then the vent is sealed, you could end up releasing harmful gases into your home.
The best way to avoid this is to have a professional come and take a look at the systems and all that would be involved in this project.
If they tell you that there is no way to air seal the attic, it likely has to do with the systems that are already in place which depend on the ventilation that the attic offers.
Safety should be the primary concern for anyone who is looking to air seal their attic.
If you can’t completely air seal because of safety reasons, then you can look at ways to fix certain areas so that the home is more energy-efficient overall.
8. Look into the Company Completing the Work
Last but certainly not least is to do your due diligence on the companies that are going to be completing the work in your home.
If you can find a local reference that you can speak to, you will be much better off.
Hearing from a customer for whom the sealing process that was completed worked or didn’t work is certainly the best way to go.
These customer testimonials from people who are located just around the corner from your home are certainly going to help you feel as though the process is worth it.
The energy efficiency upgrades in homes are not all that well developed just yet.
Those who know what they are doing have taken the time to study and learn the materials that are necessary to use.
If you hire someone who genuinely knows what they are doing, you will likely pay a bit more but get much more out of the process.
Air sealing the attic is a great way to save money on your next energy bill.
If you live in a home that is not all that energy-efficient, this is a great place to start.
If you find that air sealing is too expensive for you, there are ways you can try and make your home more energy-efficient without completing the entire process.
Talk to a professional and get their ideas for the best ways to go about this process.
Remember that the upfront costs may be high when it comes to energy efficiency, but the long-term savings will undoubtedly be there.