As a homeowner, you probably have a lot of questions about improving the energy efficiency of your home with insulation. Heating and air conditioning are necessary to maintain a comfortable climate inside your home, and it makes sense to want to maximize efficiency while minimizing costs. Insulation is the answer.
When you install insulation in your home, you can make your home as energy-efficient as possible. Insulation works by keeping the chilled air inside the home in summer while barring hot air from the outside from getting in. In the winter, insulation helps to keep heated air in and cold air out.
You may already have some insulation in your home, but there are some things you need to know to make sure you’re getting the most from your home’s insulation.
What to Know About Insulation
Did you know that a whopping nine out of every ten homes in the United States are not insulated sufficiently? Poor insulation can lead to wasted energy, not to mention unnecessary spending on fuel bills.
IMAGE CREDIT: ECOCLOUD INSULATION
Is your home under-insulated? The first place you should check is your attic. This is the area in your home where you are most likely to lose treated air or air that has been cooled or heated for a comfortable home environment. Lack of proper insulation in your attic will be responsible for costly energy bills and even raises the potential for added repairs and replacements on your home’s overworked HVAC system.
When to Replace or Install Insulation
Spring and fall are the ideal times to replace or install insulation in your home. Temperatures are not so cold that you can’t work in the attic environment, and not so hot that the heat is unbearable. If you have no attic insulation, you want to install some. If you already have insulation, you’ll want to inspect it to see if it’s the correct R-value and if there are sufficient layers.
What is R-value?
Insulation effectiveness is quantified by what is called the R-Value. When you go to any hardware store to purchase insulation, you’ll notice the R-Value rating of the insulation on the packaging. R-Value refers to the measure of thermal resistance, or how able the insulation is in resisting heat transfer.
SOURCE: ENERGY STAR
A higher R-Value number indicates greater resistance. Depending on where your home is located, you should have a certain level of R-Value for your insulation. You can check the chart, HERE, to see what zone your home falls in, and what level of insulation you need.
Attic Insulation Options
Insulation materials options are available to suit every need. Here are some options that you‘ll find at your local hardware store.
EcoCloud™ is a popular insulation option because it is the most environmentally-friendly solution. This is made from recycled paper that helps reduce heat transfer as well as serving as a rodent irritant.
This option is made of fiberglass, which is highly effective as insulation. If noise is an issue in your home, FiberCloud™ offers a great solution because it also helps absorb sound.
This option is best for hot climates since SilverShield™ helps deflect the sun’s rays