The Risks of Poor Attic Insulation

Have you ever noticed huge icicles on your house or your neighbor’s? That is not a gutter issue, as it may seem. Melting snow caused by a poorly insulated attic is the source. Poor attic insulation is a topic not often addressed, but it is essential to learn about its risks. The top three issues are high electric bills, roof damage, and excessive stress on HVAC systems. Since, on average, homes lose around 25% of their heat through the attic and roof, it makes a huge difference whether your home is poorly or well insulated.

Electric Bills

Poor attic insulation causes your HVAC system to work harder, in both the summer and winter. Your HVAC system was intended to circulate a certain temperature of air through the house until it reaches that temperature. If your home is not well insulated, your HVAC system will have to work longer and harder. The heat or cooling provided by your air conditioning system will immediately leave your home via the uninsulated attic. The most direct effect this has is raising your gas and electric bill. Over 50% of electric and gas bills are HVAC.

Roof Damage

During the winter, poor attic insulation allows the heat from your house to melt the snow on your roof. The melted snow on your roof starts to run down your roof, and as it loses heat, it refreezes as an ice dam. An ice dam coupled with the large icicles can become cumbersome and break the gutter where the majority of the dam has formed. The water can get underneath the shingles, expand as the water freezes into ice, and move the shingles out of place. Ice dams also trap water which can seep through the roof into the attic and exterior walls and insulation, often causing mold or damage to the house’s structure.

HVAC Risks

The final issue has the most delayed effect, HVAC maintenance, repair, or even replacement. The worse your insulation, the harder your HVAC system will have to work. This excess stress upon the system guarantees your maintenance will be higher. Insulation is your HVAC system’s best friend. The better your insulation, the more efficient and longer your HVAC system will run.


If you notice icicles, ice dams, or high electric bills this holiday season, your attic may be poorly insulated. For more information on how to safely and adequately insulate your attic, please contact our experts at 630-835-0181.