Insulation is one of those home features many people don't put much thought into until it actually becomes a problem. Poor insulation, however, can make a home uncomfortable when harsh weather hits.
In the winter, improper insulation can lead to drafts. In the summer, it can let too much heat seep in. Insufficient insulation can also cause your heating and cooling bills to skyrocket, as your HVAC system will need to work that much harder to maintain the right temperature inside your home.
For this reason, you may be considering an insulation upgrade. And if you're in the process of flipping a home whose existing insulation isn't great, you might be looking to improve it before putting that property on the market.
But is an insulation upgrade really worth the money? And how much of your investment will you actually get back?
What does an insulation upgrade entail?
An insulation upgrade involves replacing your existing insulation with insulating materials that contain a higher R-value, which measures resistance to heat transfer. The higher the R-value, the more effectively the insulation works.
But before you update your insulation, it could be beneficial to undergo an energy audit, where a professional will come into your home, assess your existing insulation, and make recommendations for updating it as necessary.
It pays to take this step before diving into an insulation upgrade yourself unless you're quite certain your home's insulation isn't getting the job done. An energy auditor, for example, may find one area of your home is property insulated while another part isn't, so you'll avoid spending more than you have to on insulation.
How much does an insulation upgrade cost?
The average cost of an insulation upgrade is $2,400, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). But your costs may be higher or lower, depending on the size of your home and condition of its existing insulation. If you choose to only improve the insulation in one part of your home -- say, your attic -- you'll spend less than you would for a whole-house update.
Is an insulation upgrade worth the money?
Though homeowners spend an average of $2,400 for an insulation upgrade, the average amount recouped is $2,000, reports the NAR. This means you'll recover 83% of your costs.
If you're flipping a house, it could be worth upgrading its insulation so you can market that property as energy efficient. If you're simply looking to make updates to your own home, an insulation upgrade could also be worthwhile.
Improving your insulation will help your home maintain a more comfortable temperature, and over time, you might recoup even more of your investment through lower heating and cooling bills. In fact, 40% of consumers who have done an insulation upgrade say they have an increased sense of enjoyment when they're home, per the NAR. So if you invest in a similar update, you might reap the same benefits for many years to come.