Spending money on the right areas to insulate in your home is one of the most cost-effective energy-saving measures you can take. The fact is, if your home’s over ten years old, it’s probably under-insulated by current Department of Energy recommendations. Proper amounts of insulation delivers year-round improvements in heating and cooling performance plus lower costs. However, it’s important to target the right areas to insulate in order to get maximum benefit for the investment.
Here’s where to focus your efforts and expenditures:
Depending on the season, heat energy is always radiating into the attic or out of the attic. Unfortunately, it’s usually moving the wrong direction for comfort and efficiency. In winter, heat produced by your furnace radiates through the ceiling into the colder attic space, causing your furnace to run longer cycles to maintain a comfortable thermostat setting and raising heating costs. In summer, heat accumulating in the attic radiates downward into living spaces, raising the temperature in rooms below and causing air conditioning costs to rise accordingly.
Insulation in the attic floor inhibits the movement of heat in either direction, winter or summer. Attic insulation is commonly available in two types: roll-out batts of fiberglass or mounds of cellulose loose-fill blown into the attic under air pressure. The Department of Energy recommends a minimum depth of at least 12 inches of fiberglass or 10 inches of cellulose—the more, the better. You can upgrade to the recommended depth simply by adding new material to your existing layer of insulation.
The Crawl Space or Basement
A chronically chilly crawl space or basement acts like a heat sink in winter, drawing heat energy out of rooms above and ratcheting up your heating costs. It also makes floors in the house uncomfortably cold to bare feet. To retard heat loss from living spaces, an unconditioned crawl space or basement can be insulated by installing batts of fiberglass to the underside of the subfloor or by applying spray foam insulation.
For more advice about the right areas to insulate in your home, contact the professionals at Cool Power.
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 insulation and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 631-292-0629.
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