The Year-Round Benefits of Home Insulation
There are many year-round benefits of home insulation, including reducing summer heat gain, minimizing heat loss in the winter and lowering your energy bills. Determining whether more insulation would be a cost-effective improvement for your home is a fairly simple process. Insulation creates a thermal boundary, so ensure adequate levels in the following areas:
- Attic: Measure the height of insulation in your attic, and determine the type that was installed. Ensure your attic hatch is sealed and insulated as well. Preventing heat from escaping into your attic in the winter or radiating down through your home in the summer are some of the year-round benefits of home insulation. Adequate attic insulation goes a long way toward keeping your home comfortable.
- Walls: Turn off the electricity, grab a flashlight and remove outlet covers to assess insulation levels. Insulation should completely fill the wall cavity. If amounts are inadequate, hire a professional to re-insulate. Adding insulation to wall can be accomplished using small holes, a tube, and loose-fill material without completely dissembling walls.
Types of insulation
- Fiberglass: A snug fit of this rolled insulation is imperative for effectiveness. It is convenient for hard-to-reach areas like corners, nooks and crannies, and doesn’t settle over time.
- Cellulose: Eighty percent recycled newspaper, 20 percent fire retardants, blown-in cellulose is densely packed, better for stopping air leaks and more efficient in cold climates. Cellulose settles over time, so consider this when deciding how much to add.
Insulation and R-value
Effectiveness of insulation is measured in R-value, which varies depending on insulation type and depth. Determine the type of insulation installed, and multiply its rated R-value per inch times the number of inches installed. For example, four inches of R-3.5 per inch rated cellulose: 3.5 x 4 = R-14. The year-round benefits of home insulation are effected by climate and should be at least R-30 in mild climates, and R-40 or more in cold winter climates.
To learn more about the year-round benefits of home insulation, and to discuss ways to make your home more energy efficient, contact HVAC & Plumbing Unlimited. We serve northern Virginia.