Heating and cooling your home is expensive, and energy costs are getting higher every year. If you haven’t insulated the attic, you’re compromising comfort and wasting energy year round.
Insulation Helps in Summer and Winter
- In the winter, the heat your furnace produces naturally rises toward the ceilings in your home, then into the attic where it escapes through the roof. This heat loss can consume up to 50 percent of every dollar you spend on energy and fuel.
- In the summer, the sun beating down on your roof all day sends the temperature in your attic soaring. By late afternoon, the built-up heat is radiating down through your ceilings and into your living space. Your air conditioning system can devour 10 to 20 percent more energy as it tries to compensate for this heat gain.
Properly installed attic insulation creates a barrier that slows down this heat transfer.
When and How Much to Insulate
Learning some insulation basics can help you reap the greatest benefit.
- Type of insulation. Rolled fiberglass insulation is the easiest type to install if you’re doing the job yourself. If you need to insulate a finished attic, or you’d rather hire a professional, you might opt for loose-fill fiberglass or cellulose that’s blown into the spaces.
- Where to insulate. If your attic is finished, the insulation barrier should be between the finished space and the roof. In an unfinished attic, place the insulation between and over the floor joists.
- Correct amount. Insulation is measured by its ability to resist heat flow, or its “R-value.” Depending on the type of insulation, you should have a minimum of R-38, or 12 to 15 inches in your attic. You can layer additional insulation over any already in place to reach the total recommended R-value.
- Additional steps. It’s essential to seal any gaps between the attic and your living space before you add insulation. You can also install a ventilation fan to reduce the build-up of heat in the summer.
For more information on the vital role that attic insulation plays in reducing energy consumption and increasing comfort in your Baltimore area home, contact us today at Griffith Energy Services, Inc.
Written by Kevin Spain