There’s no getting around it: home insulation can be expensive. While it’s always an excellent investment, it does go bad over time and need replacement, especially in scorching or freezing climates. The initial cost of laying attic insulation can be enough to make people ask: is there any financial help out there to help with insulation costs?
There are energy-efficient tax credits to help offset the cost of home insulation. The energy-efficient tax credit covers ten percent of home insulation, not including the installation fees. By taking advantage of this tax credit, consumers can save up to five hundred dollars! While ten percent may not seem much, it can go a long way.
In this article, I’ll be addressing the ways in which you can offset the financial cost of home insulation, as well as why and how to pick out the best attic insulation available for your climate. Read on to learn more about how home insulation will pay for itself over time!
Table of Contents
- What Is the Energy-Efficient Tax Credit?
- Financial Benefits of Home Insulation
- Other Benefits of Home Insulation
- What Is the Best Type of Attic Insulation for Florida?
The energy-efficient tax credit is a credit the IRS provides for home-improvement projects designed to make residential houses more energy efficient. This program includes solar panels, wind-powered technology, and some home insulation.
In addition to this credit offered by the IRS, there are numerous financial and non-financial benefits to investing in strong, long-lasting home insulation.
Of the typical bulk home insulation that applies, the options include:
- Blow in fibers
- Rigid boards
- Expanding spray
- Pour in place
This tax credit also covers less traditional forms of home insulation, particularly those that insulate a home from airflow. As long as the air seals include a manufacturer warranty, they can also qualify for this tax credit. There’s more than one kind of insulation, and it’s always better not to leave any money on the table.
To take advantage of this tax credit, consumers should complete Form 5695, available on the IRS’s website. If you’re unsure whether your home improvement project may qualify for the Energy Efficient Tax Credit, you should consult your accountant or reach out to the IRS’s help page.
You may still be wondering if the ten percent tax credit is enough to make more robust insulation worth your while. If so, the answer is: yes!
There are numerous financial benefits to home insulation in addition to the energy-efficient tax credit. Primarily, these benefits include lower electricity bills and increased home value. In addition to these, there are financing options available to ease the initial financial burden.
By investing in proper insulation for your home, you’ll save incredible amounts of money on your monthly power bill. While the initial cost of home insulation can be expensive, it more than pays for itself over time.
Energy Star performed a study of US homes, concluding that poor insulation was one of the most significant roadblocks to manageable power bills. Many homes in the United States were built before 1973 when public knowledge of environmental impacts began to really take form. Older homes are far less likely to be energy efficient, but increased insulation is the most excellent renovation a homeowner could make.
By adequately sealing off airflow (particularly in attics), Energy Star declared that homeowners could increase their energy efficiency by a full twenty-five percent! Purely by adding insulation to attic spaces, Energy Star stated that homes could make their spaces more energy-efficient.
Even in homes situated in a comfortable climate, Energy Star estimated that homeowners could pocket an additional two hundred dollars a year just by keeping up with adequate insulation!
Those monthly power bills add up, particularly in areas with comparably extreme climates!
If you own an older home, one of the wisest steps you can take to increase its value is to increase its energy efficiency through home insulation. In fact, according to research from the Chicago Tribune, it’s the most financially sound step you can take for the lowest initial investment!
The average cost of attic seal, fiberglass insulation, and installation fees was just over one thousand dollars. In contrast, the project increases a home’s value by one thousand, four hundred dollars. This change represents a massive one-hundred sixteen percent rate of return!
If you’re hoping to sell your home or refinance, you can’t afford to leave this money on the table. Even if you don’t desire to sell your home, knowing that you’ve correctly cared for it can be a point of pride in and of itself.
A properly insulated attic isn’t just worthwhile for the lower electric bills: by insulating your home, you protect it from long-term damage, which can be astronomically expensive.
The roof of your home is an incredibly vulnerable area. As the crown of your house, it’s most susceptible to rain, lightning, and all forms of issues. In keeping your attic stocked with proper insulation, you’re filling in the gaps where the roof itself will inevitably fail.
Unless you’re actively moving something into your attic, it’s likely that you don’t put too much thought into it. It’s exactly this mentality that leads minor, insignificant leaks to develop into mold and rot! Making the initial investment in attic insulation means taking a step away from the hefty cost of a roof replacement.
If you live along the coast, you know the importance of protecting that roof in any way you can!
If you’re scared by the immediate out-of-pocket expenses for home insulation, you can rest assured. There are plenty of financing options for projects like this, which are intended to raise energy efficiency.
Through organizations like ReNew Financial, consumers can use an unsecured line of credit not tied to their home or major possessions. This government-authorized program also offers benefits like vetted, professional contractors, and customer support.
Programs like these may seem too good to be true, but that’s hardly the case. It benefits an entire country to have solid and energy-efficient homes protecting people who care for them in return. The United States government understands this and is willing to support those seeking to join the ranks of people saving money through home insulation.
With easy financing options like this, there’s no reason not to take advantage of home insulation.
Even outside of financial benefits, there are numerous reasons why someone might want to consider home insulation a major investment.
Through home insulation, consumers can enjoy increased comfort, fewer pest problems, and soundproofing within their homes. Home insulation also protects the house itself through the prevention of frozen pipes and increased moisture control.
Home insulation raises a house’s energy efficiency, making it easier to heat and cool. While this is a financial and environmental benefit, it’s also a major improvement to the comfortability of your home.
Even if money is no object, you likely place a great deal of value in keeping yourself and your family comfortable within your home.
A home that’s difficult to heat and cool can be a major pain, especially in areas of the country with more extreme climates. You can avoid additional sweat and chills by taking the initiative to insulate your attic.
Moisture buildup isn’t just a result of rain or leaks; moisture follows anywhere air and changing climate go. As you likely know, moisture can be a major enemy to a successful home, increasing risk of mold and decreasing your home’s value.
What you may not know, however, is that insulation can go far in preventing moisture buildup in your attic.
By taking in small amounts of moisture, insulation can keep it from spreading to more sensitive parts of your home. If that insulation becomes saturated, it may need eventual replacement once more, but that replacement cost is nothing compared to the damage that same water would inflict on your home.
Old, musty insulation can be a haven for pests, bugs, and other creatures who might seek to nest in your attic. By ensuring that your insulation is of standard quality, you can avoid the disgusting scare of an unexpected pest where you least want it.
Think of home insulation as another aspect of cleaning; by keeping your attic “clean” with strong insulation, you’re making it a less welcoming environment for pests.
Though life isn’t all about money, this can be an area in which high-quality insulation can save you as well. Pest control can be a major home cost, and by making your home an unwelcome environment for pests, you can avoid another major expense.
Our world is one of the extremes. Even areas of our country that have never before struggled with inclement winters have faced the hardships associated with winter freezes and at great expense.
One of the hardest parts of dealing with a sudden, unexpected freeze is the terrible inconvenience of frozen or burst pipes. By investing in high-quality insulation, you can protect your pipes from hard freezes.
Just as insulation traps heat within your home, it also keeps your pipes from feeling the total chill of a hard freeze. In the case of pipe protection, it’s always better to be safe than to be sorry!
Regardless of whether you live in a small, closely-knit neighborhood of houses or the sprawling countryside, you can benefit from the soundproofing nature of insulation.
Have you ever stepped into an unfurnished house and noticed an irritating echo when you speak? In a way, operating in a home without proper insulation can have a similar effect.
Insulating your attic traps noise within your home, keeping you from making enemies of your neighbors and maintaining a quiet peace within your home.
The best type of attic insulation for most Florida homes is properly compressed insulation rated between R-30 and R-38. At this level of thickness, a consumer should be able to enjoy a properly insulated home regardless of the material used.
Even within Florida, the climate can show a range of extremes, depending on where you live. But so long as your insulation is within the indicated range of thickness, you’ll be fine.
Attic home insulation is rated by “R-Value.” This value indicates the level of thickness that insulation provides by showing from what level of “radiation” it protects a home.
For example, using this scale, a consumer would know that R-1 insulation would be the thinnest of the thin and clearly not enough to protect your home’s temperature. In fact, no matter where you live, if you have an r-value lower than R-19, you may want to consider insulating your attic.
If you have a solid foundation, insulation in an attic is likely the most crucial insulation within your home. Your roof is subject to the heat of the sun and weather, meaning it’s the most vulnerable area in your home to temperature change.
Attic insulation is incredibly important in any home, but in Florida, it’s even more necessary. This state, ruled by hurricanes and heat, requires homeowners to take extra precautions to make their homes comfortable, affordable, and energy-efficient.
For insulation purposes, Florida is broken into two zones: climate zone one and climate zone two. Climate zone one includes the Southern Florida counties: Broward, Collier, Hendry, Lee, Miami-Dade, Monroe, and Palm Beach. Every other county is considered climate zone two.
Insulation experts recommend that climate zone one have insulation no lower than R-30, while climate zone two may need R-30 insulation or higher.
The idea of seeking out further insulation for your home can be intimidating. After all, the initial costs, while not astronomical, are still significant. Between the energy-efficient tax credits offered by the IRS and the lower cost of electricity bills, however, insulation is a home investment you can’t afford to avoid.
Even outside of the financial, there are so many benefits to a properly insulated attic that it would be foolish not to consider the investment one worthwhile!
- Energy Star: Federal Tax Credit for Home Insulation
- IRS: About Form 5695, Residential Energy Credits
- Energy Star: Methodology for Improved Energy Savings from Cost-Effective Air Sealing and Insulating
- Chicago Tribune: How Energy Efficient Upgrades can Increase your Home’s Value
- ReNew Financial: RenewPACE: Innovative energy financing for homeowners
- Insulation Institute: Moisture Control in your Home
- My Florida Home Energy: Insulation