22 Aug Why Attic Inspections Are Growing In Popularity
When it comes to your home, a healthy, safe environment is non-negotiable. It’s where your family spends most of their time, so in addition to comfort, environmental conditions such as air quality are important considerations.
According to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) studies, American families spend about 90% of their time indoors, but pollutant concentrations are 2 to 5 times higher in indoors settings than outdoors on average.
Short-term effects of these pollutants include irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, and headaches. What may seem like minor inconveniences at first could actually be signs of (or often lead to) more long-term and serious health conditions. These include respiratory diseases, heart disease, and potentially even cancer.
What’s more, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, out of the $2,000 that the average American spends annually on energy, about $200 to $400 is wasted due to air leaks, drafts, and outdated cooling and heating systems.
Homeowners want to spend more on what matters — the health and comfort of their loved ones — and less on inefficient home energy costs. Luckily, homeowners can improve the health of their home and make their homes more energy-efficient at the same time. One easy and effective place to start is with an attic inspection.
The Benefits of an Attic Inspection
A qualified attic inspector can quickly identify what is causing unhealthy conditions and make recommendations based on the condition of the attic.
An attic inspection can provide insight into new ways for your home’s indoor air quality, energy-efficiency, and overall comfort to be improved. When you schedule an attic inspection, you can expect:
- A qualified, trained professional to inspect and diagnose any shortcomings in your attic insulation, ventilation, and air sealing — three crucial components to energy efficiency and home comfort.
- To walk away from the inspection with recommended fixes for your attic’s custom needs.
One inspection. Two solutions.
What Is Evaluated During an Attic Inspection?
Equipped with specialized tools like a thermal imaging camera, attic inspectors have the experience and equipment to identify energy efficiency, air quality, and home comfort improvement opportunities.
During an inspection, an attic inspector will be able to assess the most common problems that lead to uncomfortable, inefficient, and unhealthy homes: depleted insulation, air leakage, poor ventilation, and particulate air quality readings.
All of these common issues relate to an attic’s insulation, ventilation, and air sealing systems. These three systems play a major role throughout a home, but when it comes to the attic, they make an extra impact on a home’s energy efficiency. Attic’s are largely considered one of the biggest sources of air leaks, and as such play a big role in a home’s overall energy efficiency.
Attic inspectors work to identify the biggest savings opportunities available in one of your home’s biggest potential sources of wasted energy. By inspecting your attic and finding the solutions you need, attic inspectors can find homeowners some of the most valuable opportunities to increase energy efficiency and decrease energy costs overall.
1. An Attic Inspection Can Identify Poor Insulation
Research from the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA) indicates that about 90% of U.S. homes are not properly insulated.
This leads to wasted energy, wasted money, and needless discomfort for homeowners and their families.
Having proper insulation in your attic will buffer heat flow. This makes the living areas in your home more comfortable by reducing heat transfer. This, in turn, reduces heating and cooling costs.
During an attic inspection, an attic inspector will be able to diagnose whether your home has proper insulation or if it is one of the many U.S. homes that does not.
2. Attic Inspectors Will Identify Air Leaks
Another common problem that homeowners face is improper air sealing. Improper air sealing results in air leakage, which creates wasted energy and higher energy costs.
To detect air leakage, an attic inspector will look at susceptible air leakage areas in the attic. These include the attic access, ductwork, and recessed light fixtures.
These spots can often go undetected without a closer look from a professional. Once identified, your attic inspector can provide you the custom solution needed to address your attic’s individual air leak problems. Combined with proper insulation, good air sealing keeps the air in the attic separate from the air in the living areas and increases your level of temperature control throughout the home and helps prevent air quality issues in your attic from escaping into your living spaces.
Once air leaks are found, stopped, and prevented from reappearing, homeowners regain agency over their home comfort and energy costs that they deserve.
3. Attic Inspections Can Pinpoint Issues With Ventilation
The final system your attic inspector will assess is the attic ventilation. Your attic’s ventilation system works hand-in-hand with the air sealing and insulation to create an energy-efficient and controllable environment. But if any of these three systems is off, it can alter the entire attic’s environment, impacting the rest of the home’s energy usage.
An attic’s ventilation system can encounter a variety of common problems. Poorly installed insulation can sometimes obstruct vents and airflow; gaps around attic structures like pipes, ducts, and electrical boxes can also impede proper ventilation. These are the kinds of ventilation issues your attic inspector will be looking for when they review your attic.
One of the biggest improvements proper attic ventilation provides is reduced moisture. When moisture gathers in your attic, mold and structural damage become real problems. Proper airflow in the attic will help eliminate unwelcome moisture.
Additionally, during the hot summer seasons, lack of ventilation will quickly create problems for the home. Hot air will get trapped in the attic without any exchange between inside and outside air. Your attic could get to dangerously high temperatures and it can lead to deterioration of attic joists and rafters. In addition, a hotter attic will inevitably impact the temperature in the rest of the home if your attic’s systems are not working properly, or if your attic access is not insulated correctly.
In the colder months, a lack of ventilation in the attic can lead to other dangerous problems like ice dams. A qualified attic inspector will be able to assess the ventilation systems already in place in your attic and home. They will offer precise explanations for any inefficiencies and determine the best solution based on the specifications of your home like square footage.
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