Many families are putting on extra fleeces and snuggling under the blankets this time of year. It’s chilly out, and no matter how you try, a chill is in the air of your home. And, in the summer, when temperatures climb over 80, you struggle to keep the house cool, despite closing the shades and using fans.
Many homeowners become frustrated with their inability to regulate their home’s climate effectively and resort to an expensive upgrade of their furnace or opt to install central air-conditioning. Dwayne Boggs, owner of Boggs Inspection Services, has seen this time and again as homeowners shell out thousands in an attempt to achieve a comfortable home. There is often an easy, and cheaper, fix.
Adding or upgrading attic insulation can solve a host of problems for homeowners and at a much lower cost than changing out an entire heating system. But how does it help?
“Hot air naturally wants to move toward colder air. So, in the winter, the heated air inside your home naturally wants to rise into that cold attic space. In the summer, that extremely hot air in the attic is trying to move into your home where you want to keep the air cool,” explains Boggs.
Insulation is a natural heat barrier, so whether you want to keep the heat in or out, an upgrade in R-value, an efficiency rating for insulation, of your attic insulation is of benefit. Generally, loose fill insulation, white, pink or yellow, is made from fiberglass and will have an R-value of 2.5. Gray loose-fill insulation is made from rock-wool (R-value of 2.8) or cellulose (R-value of 3.7). Batt style insulation typically has an R-value of 3.2. No matter which type you have, multiply the depth of the insulation by the R-value to get your home’s total efficiency rating.
Generally, if your insulation is less than 11 inches (or 8 inches for cellulose) and the R-Value is below 30, you need an upgrade. If all of this makes your head swim, never fear. Boggs shares that there are many qualified home-efficiency experts in our area who can help determine if your home’s insulation is under-performing.
The bottom line is that before you invest in costly upgrades of heating and cooling equipment, assess your home’s attic insulation. An upgrade improves energy efficiency, lowers your heating and cooling bills, and increases the comfort of your home.