Frequently Asked Question About Attic Insulation

Contact us anytime if you have any other questions…

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Question: Should I Insulate My Home?

Answer: Insulate your home when:

You have an older home and haven’t added insulation.

  • Only 20% of homes built before 1980 are well insulated.
  • You are uncomfortably cold in the winter or hot in the summer—adding insulation creates a more uniform temperature and increases comfort.
  • You build a new home, addition, or install new siding or roofing.
  • You pay high energy bills.
  • You are bothered by noise from outside—insulation muffles sound.
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Question: How do I know if my home needs insulation?

Answer: You can benefit from re-insulating your existing home if you experience any of the following: Upper Floor or Room Colder, Temperature diffrences between floors, Ice Dams, Drafty Walls, High Heating/Cooling Bills, Moisture in your Attic, or if your Furnace or A/C unit runs constantly.

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Question: What does insulation do for my home?

Answer: Insulation keeps your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter, because insulation resists the flow of heat. Heat is a form of energy and always seeks a cooler area – flowing out of the home in the winter and into the home in the summer. By reducing heat flow, a properly insulated home uses less energy for heating and cooling. In addition to being an energy saver, Cellulose insulation also acts as a sound absorber. When installed in walls and ceilings, it can reduce the transmission of sound from one room to another or from the outside. In today’s noise-laden environments, more and more homeowners are soundproofing their homes. A well-insulated home increases the overall comfort of the home and adds to its resale value. Whether your home is new or old, it pays to insulate.

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Question: How much insulation do I need in my Attic?

Answer: There is no exact answer to this question. Like anything else, there are exceptions to this rule, and there are some homes or buildings that may require more. I usually suggest a minimum of R50 to rural residents who are subject to more adverse weather conditions.

The building code minimum is R-50 and is likely to be changed to slightly higher shortly. This is where you will get your quickest return on your investment. Anything more has a declining cost-benefit curve. For example, if you put R-70 in your home, you will probably recover the cost of the first R-40 upgrade in the first or second winter season. It makes takes you 10 to 15 years to recover your investment in the last R-30 portion of that R-70. Once you reach the R-40 to R-50 level, your warm air starts to find other ways out of your home.

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Question: What does R-Value mean?

Answer: “R” value is a standardized measurement that gauges insulation’s ability to resist heat flow. The HIGHER the “R” value, the GREATER the INSULATING POWER.

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Question: What is Payback and return on investment in insulation?

Answer: Insulation is always a good long-term investment.  It’s zero risks and zero maintenance. Insulation will continue to spit out consistent energy savings year after year. Look at your other places you could spend your money and see how they compare: Solar panels require maintenance, windmills too. Will wood pellet prices always be stable?  Will used fry oil always be free? Who knows?  These can all be good investments, but in the long term, they don’t hold a candle to insulation.  So, if you have the long view, make your choice with confidence and move forward.

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Question: What areas of my home should be insulated?

Answer: Insulation is not just for attics and outside walls. Insulation should also be installed in other areas of your home such as ceilings with unheated spaces, basement walls, floors above vented crawl spaces, cathedral ceilings, floors over unheated garages or porches, knee walls, and in between interior walls, ceilings or floors for extra sound control.

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Question: My house is very noisy. Is there anything that can be done to decrease the noise?

Answer: Insulating for sound control is best completed during the building process before drywall is installed. Sound control is achieved when fiberglass batt or cellulose insulation is installed in the interior walls of the home. When sound waves pass through a sound-insulated wall, ceiling or floor, the energized air molecules bump into the insulation and pass some of their energy into the. Thus, when the sound wave reaches the other side of the wall, ceiling or floor, it has much less energy, and the sound has much less volume. The result is a quieter room. Popular areas for sound control include bathrooms, bedrooms, media rooms, study/office areas, and between floors of the home.

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Question: What is the difference between fiberglass and cellulose insulation?

Answer: Cellulose insulation is environmentally friendly. Our insulation is produced by AFT. AFT’s cellulose insulation uses 100% recycled wastepaper fibers to- • Reduce landfill space requirements and conserves trees • Save energy used by the building/home owner • Use less energy to produce than equivalent fiberglass insulation A typical 1,500 square foot ranch-style home that is insulated with cellulose recycles as much newsprint as an individual will consume in 40 years. In 2004 alone, over 650,000 tons of wastepaper – which is equivalent to over 10 million trees – were recycled into this superior insulating product. Our insulation also contains no asbestos, formaldehyde.

Fibrous glass insulation, in manufactured with a high recycled content as well (they are the world’s largest user of recycled glass bottles), and is naturally fire resistant. This fact, along with price matching, has allowed the fibrous glass to become the dominant product used in Calgary and area attics. It has become the choice of new home builders, and most retro-fit companies like us, use it as well.

Calgary Attic Insulation Top Up With Blown-In

Attic Pro`s specializes in insulation upgrades for existing homes, as well as new insulation during the home construction process.

In most cases, Cellulose or Fibrous glass can be added over existing insulation, increasing the R-Value and energy efficiency. The current standard for attic insulation is R46, with many homeowners opting to upgrade to R50 Included with attic insulation is the installation of an attic access collar, to retain the additional insulation, as well as the insulation of the attic access lid. Some homes built prior to 1990 may also require the installation of air chutes, also known as insulation stops or baffles, to maintain soffit ventilation.

The attic, along with the basement or crawlspace, is one of the first places you should be looking for to improve your envelope. It may be tempting to look at windows first because you feel the drafts there but a tight attic floor will usually return more in savings and comfort than new windows.

Winter Temperatures

In the winter, warm air will migrate to the higher parts of your house because warm air is less dense than cold air. This is caused by natural convection, also called the stack effect. This means that on average, there is a higher difference in temperature across your ceiling than across your walls. In the summer, the average temperature difference across your ceilings is also higher than across your walls because radiant energy from the sun has a more direct line of sight to your roof than most of your walls. When you have a higher difference in temperature that you have to maintain then you need more R-value to do it. Simply put, attics always need more R-value than walls.

Stack Effect

Now back to the stack effect. The warm air that has floated to the top of the house will leave if there are any holes to allow it. In the past, when energy was cheap, we used the stack effect to ventilate the house. It was a good idea to let warm air billow out the top of the house and let outside air replace it in the lower parts of the house. That is why many older homes have gable vents, to allow warm air to escape as part of the ventilation system. Experience taught us to let the house “breathe” and the system worked pretty well as long as we used our heating system to provide the energy to keep the stack effect flowing. In the 1970s through some of the mavericks decided that it was wasteful to allow so much of our heat escape to the outside and they installed air vapor barrier systems to stop the excessive heat loss. This also reduced the stack effect which was ventilating the house, their house stopped “breathing”. Many of those who did not make special provisions for the reduced stack effect started to have poor indoor air quality, high humidity, condensation, and all the problems that come with it. We’ve learned from those mistakes and now we know that we have to create an air and vapor tight lid in our attics if we want to reduce heating costs AND we have to replace the stack effect with some other means of ventilation, usually mechanical ventilation.

Attic Rain

If you hear the term,  Attic Rain,Frost in the Attic, Wet Insulation, yellow, pink Stains on the ceiling, leaking around the light Fixtures that's is probably Attic Rain and it is caused by multiple factors, but biggest caused is lack of insulation and ventilation.

When You do not have the proper insulation in the attic, heat will leak into the attic and turn into frost and when the weather changes like Chinook temperatures in Calgary it will melt and come into the insulation and sometimes into the living space.

Adding more insulation and also extending baffles to maintain airflow will eliminate most of this problem by stoping that heat loss from getting into the attic.

Check out our Blog for the latest news and update.

By Phone

Phone: 403-714-4115

Fax:   403-984-3392

Business Hours

Monday-Saturday 7AM To 8PM

Sunday 9AM TO 5PM

 

Attic Pros Insulation & Ventilation

Contact Information:

Opening Hours

  • Mon-Sat 7am to 8pm
  • Sunday: 9am to 5pm

Address:

  • 3603 Centre St North
  • Calgary AB T2E-2X9

What we do

  • Attic Insulation
  • Attic Ventilation
  • Insulation Removal
  • New Homes Insulation
  • Garage Insulation

Where we provide Services

  • Calgary
  • Airdrie
  • Cochrane
  • Okotoks
  • Chestmere
  • Strathmore
  • Olds
  • High River
  • Drumheller
  • Also provide services in other towns

Please Call our office to find out more information

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