Lower Bills, Avoid Heating and Cooling Repairs by Insulating Your Attic Now
Many people ask why it’s important to invest in insulation for an attic that’s only used for storage.
The answer is twofold: first, as much as 20 percent of the conditioned (heated or cooled) air in your home escapes through your untreated attic walls and ceiling; to put it another way, one out of every five gallons of propane or heating oil that you paid for ends up somewhere outside your house. Would you leave windows or doors wide open in the wintertime? The same principle applies.
The second reason? A properly insulated attic will protect your home heating or cooling system from the kind of overwork that will eventually lead to potentially costly HVAC repairs. By reducing the heating or cooling load on your equipment, your furnace or A/C won’t have to work quite as hard to get the job done.
So how do you get started on an attic insulation project, you ask? Here are some guidelines:
- If you want to know if you have sufficient insulation in your attic, you’ll need to check your current insulation for its R-Value. R-Value measures insulation’s ability to resist the transfer of heat.
- In New York State, the EPA recommends that you have a minimum of R49 in a previously uninsulated attic. If your attic has blown-in insulation, there should be a minimum of 8.5 inches covering the floor of your attic.
- R-Value is a cumulative measure, which means you can add new insulation on top of existing insulation. When you add new insulation, be sure to reinforce the existing insulation around windows, attic doors, and any other openings.
- It’s also important to inspect your home’s ductwork, and to consider wrapping your ducts with insulation to reduce loss from your air conditioner and heating system.
Other home areas that need insulation
Of course, your attic isn’t the only place in your home that needs to be properly insulated. Any areas in which conditioned and unconditioned air come into contact needs treatment; these include:
- Garage ceilings, walls, and floors
- Basements ceilings and walls
- Crawl spaces
For advice for where and how much to insulate your Hudson Valley home, check out this guide from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Want to learn other ways you can save energy in your Hudson Valley home? Contact Black Bear today for our latest specials on high efficiency heating and cooling equipment!