As we prepare for little ghouls and goblins who’ll come to our doors this Halloween, it’s important to remember that the true terrors may be lurking inside your home -- just overhead -- ready to suck you (and your wallet) dry.
It sounds like a cheesy black and white horror film plot, but in reality, your attic is one spooky place. Not because there are creatures of the night lurking and waiting to sip on your blood, but because it’s an often overlooked spot that could be sucking up your energy, and in turn, draining your wallet. But with some effort, it’s more than possible to send these frights packing.
About 80 percent of local homes have insufficient or improperly installed insulation in their attics, and sometimes none at all. It’s an area of the home most tend to forget about, but that warm air you’re spending money to heat tends to move into that cooler attic space, where it’s of no use to anyone and leaving your heater playing catch-up. In summer, the warm outdoor air is going to seep in from the attic, giving your air conditioner plenty more to do.
A great way to combat this year-round fright is making sure you have the insulation you need. The symptoms of improper attic insulation are pretty easy to spot. Do you have hot or cold ceilings, walls or entire rooms? Maybe there are uneven temperatures throughout your home? For those brave enough to venture into the attic, take a look at the floor insulation levels. If you can see your wooden, attic floor joists rising above your insulation, you likely don’t have enough.
And if that’s not terrifying enough, attics are common places to find cracks and crevices within the home – just another way for our valuable conditioned air to escape. These air leaks have the same symptoms of inadequate insulation, but you’ll also likely notice a good amount of dust that’s coming into the home thanks to these little devils.
To battle these demons, you can pick up some supplies at the hardware store, such as insulation, caulk and cans of expanding spray foam insulation. Hardware store staff will have plenty of advice for the do-it-yourselfers out there. While you’ll be able to seal some of the cracks and crevices yourself, a contractor will be able to seal even the ones you can’t see and make sure your insulation is exactly what you need and fitted properly.
As spooky as it may seem, putting some time into these horrors now is going to serve you all year round, and it’ll be one less nuisance on your mind when those pint-sized zombies come knocking on our door this Oct. 31.