If you don't have adequate attic insulation, your energy dollars are just going right through the roof. Most people assume that they have enough insulation and never really take the time to confirm that assumption. Here's why it's important and what you can do to make sure your home's energy envelope remains adequately sealed.
How Your HVAC Unit is Compromised
Everyone understands that heat rises. This scientific principle doesn't change regardless of the season. In the wintertime, it's possible for you to lose up to 25 percent of the thermal energy in your home through this process. Since it's colder outside, the heat is leeched out of the home, which causes your furnace to work even harder to keep you warm.
In the summertime, your attic can become very warm due to both solar heat radiating through the roof and warm air moving upward from your living spaces. Without proper attic ventilation and insulation, temperatures in the attic can rise to 150 degrees. With that much heat sitting above your living spaces, some of it may radiate down into your home. This causes your air conditioning system to work even harder to keep you cool.
In both cases, inadequate attic insulation will cause your heating and air conditioning systems to work harder than they should have to. This, of course, causes your energy bills to skyrocket. To mitigate the problem and keep heat energy from transferring between your attic and living spaces, check your attic insulation levels every few years to make sure it hasn't shifted or settled, or been compromised by moisture.
You will want to make sure that the attic insulation is spread evenly across the attic floor, and that it's between 10 and 14 inches deep. Naturally, you will also want to confirm the R-value of your insulation. The higher the number, the better it will be at insulating your home.
Making sure your attic insulation is adequate will prevent heat energy from penetrating into your attic, both from above and below. Sealing air leaks between your attic and living spaces should be part of this strategy, as well. These steps will help lower your energy bills in both summer and winter, and you'll see a difference in your monthly energy usage almost immediately.
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