01 Nov Does Attic Insulation Help Home Air Quality?
Posted in Insulation Services, on 1572580800 By Admin
Although we associate attic insulation with keeping our homes insulated, there are many other benefits, including improved air quality. Attic insulation is actually part of a complete “working system” and everything in the home is affected – from energy consumption, to indoor air quality, to overall home comfort.
When attic insulation is properly planned and professionally installed, there are a host of benefits for homeowners. Energy consumption is better balanced; energy waste is greatly reduced; air circulation is much improved; and air quality issues are resolved. The idea is for the “building envelope” work as a system.
Essential to attic insulation is air sealing – an effort to prevent unwanted air from entering or exiting the home. In this way, the HVAC system is able to efficiently circulate and filter the indoor environment. Effective air sealing simply prevents contaminants and pollutants from entering into the “building envelope”.
How does attic insulation prevent indoor air pollution?
While our outdoor air is relatively clean, there are common pollutants that proliferate – like dust and dirt; mold and spores; and even chemical contaminants. When a home is not well sealed, all of these airborne pollutants accumulate inside the home and compromise indoor air quality. When a home is well sealed and well insulated, much of the pollutant load can be prevented from entering the home and spreading throughout.
If a home is poorly insulated or under-insulated even a modern HVAC system (heating and cooling) can perform inefficiently. Beyond the air quality, it means that parts of the home will not be consistently heated or cooled. In particular, upper floors may be experiencing temperature fluxes that are different from lower floors. These temperature fluctuations indicate that the home is poorly insulated and/or under-insulated.
Older homes are in a unique category – they tend to be poorly sealed and under-insulated. Rooms are drafty; the HVAC system is overworked; utility bills are high; and indoor comfort is dubious. At the same time, when the insulation is upgraded, and air sealing enhanced, the entire home is positively affected and the results almost immediate. Energy consumption is improved – indoor comfort is upgraded – and air quality is enriched.
How can I tell if I need more attic insulation?
With attic insulation, homeowners often wonder if they need more insulation, or upgraded insulation, or even complete removal and reinstallation. If the home is on the old side, then it’s quite possible the insulation is underperforming – the symptoms are straightforward.
Moisture in the attic
If moisture is accumulating in the attic and roof, there is likely an insulation problem. This is also a sign that the space is not properly air-sealed. This issue is not uncommon in older homes, but can easily present in a newer home. Professionally inspection is recommended.
Higher energy bills
Higher-than-average utility bills are symptomatic of insulation that is under-performing. The furnace and air-conditioner are running more often – but when they are overworked, something is not right. Usually, there’s a direct connection with the insulation in the attic.
Large roof icicles
If icicles are hanging off the roof throughout the winter, it’s a sign that the attic and roof are not working properly. This is also known as “ice damming” and indicates that insulation in the attic is inadequate and inefficient. It also means that the space is not properly air sealed.
Hot and cold rooms
When room temperatures are not balanced throughout the house, it means that the existing insulation is not performing. While individual rooms could be upgraded with insulation, the real source of the problem is in the attic – that’s where upgrading and retrofits are needed.
Existing insulation is old
When existing insulation material is dated and deteriorating, it’s the right time to replace. Chances are, the whole installation doesn’t even satisfy today’s building code. Removal and re-installation should not be a DIY job – it’s work for professionals who know what to do.
Pests and animals
When the attic space is full of animal droppings or insect infiltration, you can be sure that the insulation is compromised. Naturally, this situation requires a resolution before doing any insulation work. Once the space is clean and decontaminated, installation can proceed.
What are the symptoms of poor indoor air quality?
With poor indoor air quality, different people experience different symptoms, especially the very young and the very old. These symptoms generally focus on respiratory issues, sinus congestion, allergic reactions, and even skin irritation. If these symptoms diminish when outside of the home, then it’s a sure sign that indoor air quality has a direct connection.
In a residential home, the symptoms associated with poor air quality are mild to moderate for the most part. These should not be confused with symptoms of “sick building syndrome” or “building-related illness”, both of which present with much more serious symptomology. As it is, poor indoor quality throughout a home can really affect the residents negatively.
For attic insulation in Toronto, count on the experts at EcoComfort
In Toronto and throughout the GTA, EcoComfort Insulation & Contracting provides attic insulation upgrades and retrofits. We specialize in attic insulation, installing high quality products that are guaranteed to perform. Our installers are highly experienced, and all of our work is warrantied. We make every effort to ensure that your home will be more energy efficient and more comfortable. We’re not satisfied with the work until you are.
If you’re shopping around for attic insulation in Toronto, EcoComfort provides unequalled service. With professional installation, upgraded insulation will measurably reduce energy consumption and save money from season to season. EcoComfort are the experts when it comes to attic insulation in Toronto – from removal, to retrofitting, to re-installation. We also provide attic ventilation systems, as well as attic and roof repairs where required.
Attic insulation upgrades are one of the most cost effective ways to enhance home energy efficiency. This is a home improvement will an excellent return-on-investment. Call one of our in-house specialists at 416-333-4554 or fill out our online contact form for a free estimate.