The benefits of a well-insulated home consist in the greater comfort of one’s family and in savings on heating and cooling costs by the household.
Health – There is a statistically significant relationship between properly insulated buildings and the lesser number of health concerns and hospital visits of their occupants. The relationship to increased happiness is more difficult to establish with similar precision, but, by extension, it must also be true.
Financial Returns – Insulating one’s home well is an investment on par with any blue-chip stock. At current insulation and energy prices most homes will recoup the cost of upgrading their old insulation within 3 to 5 years in the form of reduced energy use. In subsequent years, the savings on utility bills will be a net gain to the household and the quarterly gains will keep accruing for 50+ years. Investing in the insulation of one’s home brings the fastest payback of any home improvement project, and the returns will be greatest to those with the foresight to insulate their roofs at current insulation prices.
Clean Roof Space:
The main benefit of a clean roof space is less dust indoors. The immediate beneficiaries are those adversely affected by dust and airborne allergens.
Indoor Hygiene – It is a fact rarely acknowledged, but much of the dust settling indoors comes from the roof space above. There is a constant interchange of air between the roof and the living areas in almost all homes. It takes place through ceiling vents, exhaust fans, and around light fittings. In some homes, this interchange is also facilitated by vented ceiling roses, vents on internal walls, and gaps around cornices. The flow of air back and forth these passages is seldom very great, but it is great enough to carry dust, pollen, mould spores and other small particles from the roof cavity into the living areas. The greatest beneficiaries of a clean roof space are therefore individuals adversely affected by these substances.
Messy Roof Spaces – Beyond the inevitable accumulation of dust over time, roof cavities become messy and unhygienic for two main reasons. One set of culprits are tradesmen: many of them treat ceilings as dumping grounds and few of them ever bother to bring down the litter generated by their work in the roof. This is especially true for many older buildings, and sagging ceilings can often be attributed to piles of rubble, discarded timber, or some other heavy debris left abandoned in the roof.
The other set of culprits are animal intruders: birds, possums, mice, rats, ants and silverfish. They take up residence and sometimes also die in the seclusion of the ceiling. Their bodily wastes and the feathers, fur, and skin they shed will often lead to the establishment of a quietly thriving colony of bacterial and insect life in the roof that long outlive their original hosts being poisoned or otherwise repelled. The result is soiled insulation, stale odours, lice, dust mites and other parasites.
Ceiling Dust carries this into the home. It also carries pollen all year around, and it will often contain particles of lead and other heavy metals that have invariably found their way into most urban ceilings from the exhaust gases of passing vehicles. Another common ingredient is fibers from degraded insulation. It is rare for any of these irritants to be present in concentrations high enough to make one ill. In most cases their effects are only felt on the threshold – just enough to cause discomfort, but not enough to make one investigate its source.
Greater Hygiene and Increased Well-Being – Depending on its constituents, ceiling dust can be an insidious substance for individuals with allergic sensitivities. Nevertheless, not everyone is adversely affected by ceiling dust. For some homes, therefore, the benefits of its removal will only consist in the reduced amount of dust settling on the mantelpiece. For other homes, the cleaner air indoors will also result in better sleep, better moods, and higher energy levels. For most homes, the benefits will be a composite of greater hygiene and increased well-being.