Home Improvement: You’ll Find Big Savings in the Attic

Home Improvement: You’ll Find Big Savings in the Attic

In the world of home improvement projects attic insulation is like an economy car; budget friendly but not turning any heads. Unlike a sparkling new sports car (or updated kitchen) there’s nothing sexy about improving attic insulation. Since money IS sexy we’re going to explore some reasons to consider adding this project onto this year’s “To Do” list.

How Insulation Improves Energy Efficiency

Before we jump into how you can save money let’s consider the WHY behind being energy-efficient. The goal of any insulation is to reduce the amount of energy leaving an area.

Your house has insulated walls and an insulated attic. In the winter you want to keep as much of the warm air inside as possible. The opposite is true in the summer – you want to keep the cool air in.

If you have a newer home, chances are good it’s probably pretty efficient. But, if your home is older, you might have some areas for improvement in the efficiency department. The fine folks at MidAmerican Energy offer an energy audit which will give you an idea of any deficiencies that you can improve on. They’ll send an energy technician to your house and he’ll poke around and give you a report of areas that need some help. (They might even give you some fancy energy-saving light bulbs!)

Often times they will offer a rebate if you use a MidAmerican Energy approved contractor to execute on any of the energy-saving improvements they recommend. (Who doesn’t like free money??)

Insulation can be graded by both your utility bill and a measurement called “R-value.”  Unlike the “R” movie rating, the insulation R-value score tells you how efficient insulation is. For more information about R-values visit the Department of Energy’s page on insulation here.

Project Cost vs Value

According to MidAmerican Energy, upgrading insulation in your attic or crawl space is the best way to save on your energy bill. Requesting an energy audit of your home will help determine the amount of savings you can expect on your heating bill.

Improving attic insulation is a relatively quick and budget friendly project. In Des Moines, the project size varies (naturally) so the cost varies as well. However, the overall estimate is said to be around $1,250. This year’s Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report also determined that 80% of the project’s cost could be recouped through increased home value. Those numbers put it at the very top of the list for smart home improvements that have big savings.

Did I mention there might be free money to update your insulation?? Yep, that’s right – there are sometimes rebates that help offset the home improvement cost. For example, MidAmerican Energy did an energy audit and gave us a $700 rebate to update our attic insulation. Keep in mind that rebates are available for both professional and self install projects. For more information about rebates visit MidAmerican Energy’s page here. These rebates reduce the costs on an already low-cost (high value) project that also saves you money each and every month.

Upgrading insulation is starting to sound like an incredibly sexy home improvement project, right?? Yes, it’s true your neighbors may never admire your attic’s insulation the way they would quartz countertops, but improving your home’s energy efficiency is something to be very proud of.

If you’re curious what the value of your home is, you can get an instant valuation here. But, if you’re wondering if you should make some upgrades and how that would affect your value? Call me – we can walk through the house and maybe I can help you save some money!


Heather Wright

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