How Better Attic Insulation Improves Indoor Air Quality In Colorado
Most homeowners tend to think of insulation as a one-time concern or as a “set it and forget it” product. Unfortunately, insulation may require periodic checks and occasional maintenance, just like everything else in a home. It may need to be changed out after several years, especially if it comes in contact with water or gets damaged. This is because problems with attic insulation can dramatically impact your indoor air quality and, ultimately, your health. Oftentimes, indoor air consists of more pollutants – up to five times more – than outdoor air. This is why people who have health problems due to bad air quality often suffer because of their indoor air. This article discusses the association between attic insulation and air quality.
How Attic Insulation And Air Quality Go Hand In Hand
- How Attic Insulation And Air Quality Go Hand In Hand
- Signs of Poor Indoor Air Quality In Your Fort Collins Home
- Health Symptoms From Poor Air Quality
- Pollutants That Cause Problems For Fort Collins Residents
- Broken Down Attic Insulation
- Insulation Damaged From Pests
- Insulation Weakened by Moisture
- Insulation Exposed to Moving Air
- Importance of a Reputable Professional Insulation Contractor In Fort Collins
- Attic Insulation and Air Quality Fort Collins CO
In addition to helping maintain the temperature of your home, the purpose of insulation is to trap air that has not been ventilated and to improve indoor air quality. Attic insulation is particularly important since it acts as a giant air filter for the entire home. The insulation in your attic works like a filter by catching dust and other pollutants floating around the home and keeping it trapped so you do not breathe them in.
Related Article: Why Is Insulation Important In Fort Collins, CO Homes?
Signs of Poor Indoor Air Quality In Your Fort Collins Home
If your doctor has not directly linked an illness with poor air quality, it does not necessarily mean your home does not have a problem. Issues start to become apparent slowly over time. Some of the first noticeable occurrences associated with bad air quality are not problems that people associate with the air. For example, your home may seem like it is always dusty, even if you clean regularly, or you may get occasional whiffs of mold or mildew.
Related Article: Do-It-Yourself Insulation Problems: 6 Things That Lead To DIY Nightmares
Health Symptoms From Poor Air Quality
Depending on where you live and what you do as a career, you may be among the numerous individuals who spend most of their time indoors. For these people, it is particularly important to do everything possible to improve indoor air quality. The Environmental Protection Agency, also known as the EPA, notes several symptoms that people may experience due to poor air quality, including:
- difficulty breathing
- shortness of breath
- red or irritated throat
- itchiness in the nose
- watery eyes
Do not disregard even the smallest of signs, such as if someone begins sneezing regularly while indoors or suddenly experiences dry skin. In addition, people who already suffer from asthma or allergies may find that their symptoms seem to get worse for reasons they cannot explain.
Related Article: 4 Winter Benefits Of Spray Foam Insulation In Fort Collins
Pollutants That Cause Problems For Fort Collins Residents
The EPA lists a few major pollutants that cause the most problems indoors, including obvious offenders such as pesticides, lead, and asbestos. Some pollutants may be right under your nose, but you would never know without the proper testing, as is the case with radon and similar substances that occur naturally. Your home may also be polluted due to pet dander, certain air cleaners, or even mold and other biological agents hidden in the walls, basement, or attic. The EPA also states that volatile organic compounds that come from various materials and products can also affect air quality.
Broken Down Attic Insulation
Although old insulation does not automatically translate to bad insulation, exactly how old it is and the quality of it does make a difference. As insulation ages and degrades, it loses the ability to protect against contaminants. It can also break down from water leaks, rodents, and pests. As this occurs, volatile organic compounds, mold spores, allergens, animal droppings, and even fiberglass dust are released into the air. Any number of these contaminants can find their way into vents or down through light fixtures, ending up in the air you breathe. Even if your insulation appears to be in good condition, keep in mind that modern standards for proper installation are far superior to those in the past. This means that it is possible that your old insulation is simply not adequately placed.
Related Article: Vented Vs. Unvented Attic: Which Is Better For Your Colorado Home?
Insulation Damaged From Pests
Mice, birds, rats, insects, and bats love to make a home for themselves in attics, where they nest within the warm insulation. Their presence means waste deposits are imminent and that your home will not be able to stay as warm or as cool as it once did. Getting rid of these pests is only half the battle. In addition to sealing cracks and holes that allowed them in, you will need to replace existing insulation in order to improve your air quality and restore the energy efficiency in your home.
Related Article: Fiberglass Insulation Problems: Things To Watch Out For
Insulation Weakened by Moisture
If you have dealt with any water leaks or moisture issues, it may be time to replace your attic insulation. When insulation encounters moisture, it is rendered useless and becomes completely ineffective. Wet insulation loses heat resistance and begins to encourage mold growth rather than hampering it. Any hint of mildew or mold growing in your insulation will undoubtedly spread and quickly lead to health problems.
Insulation Exposed to Moving Air
Some types of insulation are not as effective as others when it comes in contact with moving air. Even minuscule gaps or cracks in an attic can find their way to the insulation, putting a strain on the product’s effectiveness. In addition, these cracks and gaps may allow in other outdoor contaminants, like allergens and pollen.
Related Article: R-Value vs. Air Seal: What is More Important When Buying New Insulation In Colorado?
Importance of a Reputable Professional Insulation Contractor In Fort Collins
Inexperienced insulation installers can cause more harm than good. For example, fiberglass or spray foam insulation that is incorrectly installed can create just as many pollutants as having no insulation at all. A reputable professional installer will properly evaluate the area, note issues with existing insulation, propose ideal solutions and install new insulation correctly.
Whether insulation is old, wet, damaged, or improperly installed, it is time to consider replacing it. Fresh insulation that is put in according to modern standards will significantly improve indoor air quality and benefit both a home and its occupants.
Attic Insulation and Air Quality Fort Collins CO
To improve the indoor air quality and thermal envelope of your home and receive the many benefits that proper insulation has to offer, work with a professional insulation company for the best results. They can consider all of the necessary factors that will improve efficiency, comfort, and more. Ascend Construction specializes in insulation removal and installation, energy conservation, energy audits, whole house fan installations, and more in Fort Collins, Colorado, and the neighboring areas.
Contact Ascend Construction for a free consultation today. We can provide you with practical solutions to address the problem areas in your Fort Collins home. All of our services are affordable, and our work is guaranteed. Click here to contact us, or click the button below to give Ascend Construction a call. We offer free, no-obligation, in-home consultations.
301 S Howes St #1241
Fort Collins, CO, 80521