Find Out How Insulation Benefits Homeowners Year Round
Do you think of insulation as a “winter thing?” Actually, insulation benefits are year round. Insulation prevents the transference of heat into cooler places. In the summertime, this means preventing hot attic air from infiltrating your air conditioned rooms. During the winter, it means preventing heated air from rising, and escaping through the attic or exterior walls.
To maximize your insulation benefits, it’s important that your home is adequately insulated. This is especially true if your ducts run through unconditioned spaces such as an attic or basement.
R-Value. The first thing to pay attention to is the R-value of your insulation. Peek into your attic space and read the information on the insulation batts. If your home has loose fill insulation, you may need to consult the manufacturer’s paperwork. According to Energy Star’s Zoned R-value map, we are located in Zone 3.
Another way to estimate the R-value of your insulation is to manually measure the inches of R-value installed and multiply it by the approximate material R-value:
- Fiberglass, blankets or loose-fill: 2.9 to 3.5
- Cellulose loose-fill: 3.5
- Mineral wool, blankets or loose-fill: 3.0
- White foam board: 3.8
- Blue or pink foam board: 5.0
- Polyurethane: 6.5
To determine the R-value of exterior wall insulation, you may need to remove an electrical outlet plate cover, and/or cut a small access hole to measure the insulation depth.
Quantity. R-value isn’t the only thing you want to pay attention to. Your attic insulation plays a critical role in your home’s heating and cooling efficiency. Ideally, the insulation level should approach no less than 1-inch below the top of the floor joist. There should be no holes, or gaps either. If you notice the insulation level seems low, or there are noticeable gaps, you will want to increase your insulation amounts.
Duct insulation. Insulation benefits aren’t limited to your attic space and walls. Your proper ductwork designwill benefit from insulation as well. Properly sealed and insulated ducts will increase energy savings year round.
To learn more about insulation benefits, contact Air-Tro, Inc. Heating & Cooling. We provide honest, reliable HVAC service to our Southern California customers.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Pasadena, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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