The easiest, most affordable and long-lasting way to achieve a comfortable home and low energy bills is with adequate attic insulation. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that 90 percent of the homes in the U.S. have inadequate insulation where it counts because attics have constant exposure to the elements and heat naturally rises.Those factors, combined with the constant movement of heat toward colder temperatures, make it critically important to prioritize the attic to cut energy costs.
The DOE recommends that homes in this region have an R-value of 38 at a minimum and 60 for the best thermal protection. The industry assigns R-values to insulation that describe how many hours each inch resists heat transfer. Each inch of fiberglass batts and blown-in provides from 3 to 3.8 hours of thermal protection.
Albeit they’re more expensive, rigid foam or sprayed foam offer better R-values, and they’re commonly used in spaces where achieving the ideal R-value would be difficult. Depending on the product, these R-values range from 4 to 6.5.
Unless you’re a skilled with home improvements and have the tools, you may want to use a contractor to increase attic insulation. The two most critical aspects of adding more include:
- Ventilation. All attics require fresh air ventilation, and a good installation keeps insulating materials away from the vents in the attic.
- Thermal bridging. The floor joists and the attic floor must be completely covered so that none of the heat from the ceilings and the cold from the attic travel through. A quality installation will not have any gaps that allow heat to seep through the attic’s structural components.
Sprayed foam insulation almost always requires a professional installation because it needs specialized equipment. Batt insulation is fairly easy to add, although you may have to dispose of any dirty or moldy original insulation. Loose fill requires a blower and if you do your own, may require an extensive cleanup.
To learn more about attic insulation, contact Cool Power, LLC, providing trusted HVAC services for Long Island homeowners since 1975.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Hauppauge, New York and the Long Island area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about attic insulation and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 631-292-0629.
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