Retrofit Insulation

Retrofit insulation is the process of re-insulating a house that has deficient or poorly installed insulation.   At Advantage Home Performance we are experts at reinsulating existing homes.    In this section of our web site we provide you with information to help you make informed decisions about how to reinsulate your home.

At Advanced Home Performance we understand that attics are like a netherworld which nobody wants to enter in the quest to spend money.   Yet, “if” your attic insulation is deficient, there is an excellent opportunity to correct the problem and easily reduce your utility costs, increase your comfort and help the environment.   In a house with significant insulation problems the benefits can be quite substantial.

Bare sheet rock in attic MesaCeiling temperatureInfrared picture living room
Missing insulation in atticLiving room ceiling tempInfrared picture

This is a series of three pictures highlighting the impact of missing insulation on comfort and efficiency. The first photo is taken in the attic. The second is a temperature gun showing the impact of this missing insulation on the sheet rock temperature. The third photo is taken in the living room with an infrared camera in which the color white is warm. Although this is a worse case situation, we see degraded insulation all the time.We encourage consumers not to take their attic insulation for granted. Compared to other energy efficiency strategies, blowing more insulation into an attic is a relatively easy and inexpensive investment. We emphasize attic insulation because this is where we find most of the major insulation problems in homes in Arizona. The major utilities in Arizona are offering generous rebates to encourage you to repair your attic insulation. Now is the time to take the initiative.

Based on our experience inspecting thousands of homes in Arizona, we genuinely believe there are hundreds of thousands of homes that either have missing or poorly installed attic insulation. It has been well documented that during the 80’s and 90’s mediocre insulation work and cheating were quite common in the insulation industry. Prior to the 80’s, builders simply didn’t install enough insulation in attics to achieve maximum insulation performance.

b1Most consumers and building professionals don’t realize that very small defects in the attic insulation system create a huge reduction in R-value (R-value measures resistance to heat flow – the greater the R-value, the greater the insulating power). A home that is missing 5% of the attic insulation will see a resulting drop in R-value of 54%. During inspections of existing homes, we routinely see about ten common attic insulation defects that reduce R-value and compromise comfort.

We will show you the visual impact of these insulation defects with our infrared camera. Our infrared camera can literally see heat gain or heat loss, which is an indicator of missing or poorly installed insulation. We’ve invested in this expensive technology because we are in the business of preventing heat gain and heat loss. Using this technology has made us a more quality conscious insulation company.

We often tell consumers that quality attic insulation pays for itself twice. The first time is on a monthly basis when you receive a lower utility bill. The second time occurs when you sell your home. If you have quality attic insulation, you will not provide an opportunity for a home inspector to find a flaw in your home, which often becomes a point of negotiation by the buyer for a reduced sale price. This scenario is common in Arizona and will only become more typical as buyers become savvier about utility bills.

If it is determined that your attic has missing or poorly installed insulation, we have provided a short article called twelve steps to a quality insulation estimate & job to help you shop for insulation. We have provided this guide for your benefit and ours. We are very familiar with shortcuts some insulation contractors take that result in inferior work. We believe it is to your advantage and ours, if there is a clear standard for excellence in retrofit insulation.

Advantage Home Performance has a long history of championing quality insulation practices. In 2001 Mike Uniacke, the owner of Advanced Insulation, was featured as a consumer advocate and insulation expert on a Date Line NBC expose that was critical of insulation industry. He also wrote the article, Cheating no-imgthe Insulation’s Industry’s Secret, in Nov/Dec 2000 issue of Home Energy Magazine.

What separates Advantage Home Performance from the competition is our commitment to treat insulation like an integral system and not a commodity. We take pride in doing quality work and this web site defines a quality job.