Monday, August 5th, 2013 by Office
People tend to think of insulation as a way to help keep their homes warm rather than keeping them cool. Homes with poor insulation waste a lot of energy and have higher utility bills. Although insulating the walls of your home helps, it may not be enough.
Attics, crawl spaces, garages and basements should also be insulated to ensure the highest possible energy savings. The more insulation you have, the longer it takes heat to travel through-- this is the R-Value of the insulation. The less heat that reaches your interior living space, the less your air conditioner will turn on.
When considering the insulation in your home, it is best to start from the top with attic insulation. The attic is the part of your home that bears the majority of the summer heat. There are charts you can access that have guidelines on how much R-value your attic insulation should have. Generally speaking, the Department of Energy recommends insulation with an insulating value of between R-38 and R-49 in our area. That is between 15 and 18 inches thick. Blown-in and spray foam insulation have a reputation of being messy, but our specialists can keep things clean, create barriers to make for easier access to the space, and discuss other options as well.
Many homeowners have never checked the insulation inside their homes; we usually trust that the correct amount was installed. If your home was built before the 1990s, chances are your insulation is insufficient. If you can see the top of the ceiling joists in your attic, then you do not have enough insulation, and your utility use is literally going through the roof. Little or no insulation will make your heating system work harder causing your utility bills to rise. The proper amount of insulation installed correctly will allow you to use your heating and cooling system less.
Attics should be sealed and if needed, have extra insulation installed to keep the conditioned air inside of the home. Sealing off gaps and holes around all windows and doors can help make sure your home’s insulation is working at its highest rating level. Adequate insulation, along with making sure cracks or openings in the ceiling are sealed tight, can save you more than 20 percent off your cooling costs and has one of the fastest paybacks in energy savings. There are many air leaks where conditioned air from inside your home can leak out of the house into the attic. If you insulate without air sealing first, the conditioned air will just leak right through.
The energy used for heating and cooling your home can account for 50 percent or more of the total energy used in the average household. Inadequate or improperly installed insulation combined with air leaks are the leading cause of energy waste in homes. When a home has the proper amount of insulation, the homeowner will save money while staying comfortable during those hot summer months. With the right amount of insulation, your home will maintain a uniform temperature throughout the changing seasons.
Before another summer hits, have the insulation in your attic inspected. If it is less than the recommended amount, or you are experiencing other symptoms of energy loss, like uneven temperatures, contact the trained professionals at Dr. Energy Saver Central Maryland. Our home energy audit can identify the source of the discomfort and high energy costs. This means they will only recommend repairs and upgrades needed to solve the problem. Contact us today for your free estimate for our insulation services!