I invite you to explore my YouTube channel, where you'll see first-hand how insulation looks in dark and mysterious attics, crawl spaces, and basements scattered across Maryland. Witness first-hand how we tackle the unique challenges found in these hidden spaces, and gain valuable knowledge on how to conquer your own house.
Written by Eric Gans, Building Analyst & Envelope Professional I'm a certified energy auditor and insulation contractor in Maryland. I have completed over 2000 energy audits, and I have taken over 2000 trips to an attic.
Maryland Home Insulation Guide
An under-insulated attic is the #1 reason for poor home comfort and high energy bills. Use this guide for Maryland home and attic insulation solutions.
Well Insulated Attic Characteristics
The insulation has no large gaps or voids around obstructions. It appears to fit in any cavity side-to-side and top-to-bottom and appears to be around wiring and other services in the area. 13-18"
Does that look or sound like your attic insulation? Not likely...ENERGY STAR says 9 out of 10 are under-insulated.
According to a recent Forbes Magazine article, there are approximately 124 million houses in the United States and roughly 20% are built before 1980. Older homes mean older, outdated methods of insulating that don't measure up to today's standards.
So where do you begin? This guide can help. It will answer many of the questions homeowners have about insulation.
Winter: We place caps on our children's heads on a cold day to keep the heat from escaping and we need to do the same to our homes. Check out these great ways to change the trend and get a hold of always being cold:
Preventing Rapid Heat Loss -Attic air sealing is one of the most effective ways to improve home comfort and energy efficiency - learn the basics.
Improving Indoor Air Quality -Learn about the relationship between indoor air quality, air changes per hour, and energy efficiency for your home.
If you are like most, chances are you do not want to visit your attic and dig around.
A better way to get your insulation checked is to get an energy audit.
Is Getting Home Attic Insulation Worth It?
The amount of insulation your attic needs will depend on how much is there now. Getting it right will ensure that you earn the best return on your investment (ROI) and meet the 2023 Maryland building codes.
This can be a little tricky. Calculations can be off if the information is not gathered right. The condition, coverage, and depth of the insulation are each important.
Take notice if you have any area in your attic that does not have insulation.
An issue can be as little as 18 square feet of uninsulated area in a 1000-square-foot attic. It reduces the R-value. Missing insulation will lead to comfort problems and high energy bills.
According to Dr. Allison Bailes of Energy Vanguard, the heat flows through the bare areas fast. He says that warm air leaves in the un-insulated ceiling area 38 times faster than in the insulated areas.
It is essential to measure insulation through a different lens. Try not to focus on which insulation is better. Instead, please focus on the proper R-value, especially for the places where it is most important.
There are two things to know about R-value:
1. How to Measure R-Value
Insulation has one job - to resist heat flow. The higher the R-value, the better the insulation resists heat transfer.
2. How R-Value Requirements Change
As your home's features twist and turn, insulation requirements change. R-values decrease in less critical areas.
Batt Insulation: Prevalent and, unfortunately, the worst performer.
How Much Does Insulation Cost?
Home Performance contractors look for insulation fixes in existing homes that will make the most impact for the lowest cost. Accessible areas are first priority and usually the most important. Investigation and testing play a role in helping to shape solution decisions. Taking this approach will factor in the overall cost.
Here are important considerations if you plan to insulate your home:
ENERGY STAR® says to look at the many systems around your home. Evaluating the "whole house" can lead to better comfort and efficiency. Their stats show that 9 out of 10 homes in the U.S. are under-insulated.
Maryland Utilities (BGE & Pepco) offer a portfolio of programs promoting energy efficiency and conservation, including rebates, education, and services. The program is designed around a consultative approach.
Air sealing and insulation are considered the most critical measures to complete to achieve energy efficiency - before windows, doors, and replacing older HVAC. The initial qualifier for rebates is to get a home energy audit.
Why is the room on the front of the house colder? Do you have enough insulation? Why is it so stuffy upstairs during the summer? Should I remove old insulation from my attic? Why does my HVAC run all of the time? Is spray foam insulation the best solution for my home? Why are my new windows feeling drafty? Do my walls have insulation?
Learn much more about the programs designed to help YOU