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CARTOON: The Attic Insulation Cover-Up!

Spring cleaning

You can try to hide from energy waste, but it’ll still show up on your utility bills. The truth is, adding insulation to your attic is nothing to be afraid of. In fact, it’s one of the most cost-effective energy-saving measures you can take, making your home comfortable and efficient all year long.

Some key steps for ensuring the proper installation of attic insulation include:

  1. Seal all attic air leaks, especially chases, dropped ceilings, wiring and plumbing penetrations, light fixtures and bathroom fans. Most insulation does not stop air flow.
  2. Install blocking (metal flashing) to maintain clearance requirements (usually three inches) for heat-producing equipment found in an attic, such as flues, chimneys and exhaust fans.
  3. Use only insulated ceiling (IC) rated recessed lights which are airtight and can be covered with insulation.
  4. Select insulation levels that meet or exceed the recommended R-values provided by the U.S. Department of Energy.
  5. Locate the attic access in an unconditioned part of the house if possible. Otherwise, weatherstrip the attic access and insulate it by attaching insulation to the cover or by installing an insulated cover box.
  6. If mechanical equipment or storage areas are located in the attic, elevate the attic decking to allow full-height insulation to be installed.

If you've added the appropriate amount of insulation and you're still losing energy, air leaks could be the culprit. For more information, see Air Sealing Your Home.

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