Do your energy bills seem excessive? Does your air conditioner run all the time? Do you have trouble heating the second floor of your two-story home in the winter? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you probably lack sufficient insulation levels in your home. Insulation, much like a travel Thermos®, works to keep you comfortably cool during the summer, and cozy warm during the winter.
Ensuring sufficient levels of insulation, as well as the right R-value for your geographical location, provides many benefits. Not only will it make your home more energy efficient – lowering heating and cooling costs – but, it will also make it more comfortable and healthier for all occupants. It also has a positive impact on the environment. However, according to the Department of Energy, few homes today have sufficient insulation.
With energy prices expected to rise within the next few years, this is simply not acceptable, especially when you consider the fact that heating and cooling already account for 48% of your home energy use. Ensuring sufficient insulation levels within your attic, wall, and floor cavities will increase your home’s energy efficiency thus maximizing your return on investment.
Understanding the term “R-value” – a measure of how well it reduces the flow of heat and cold into and out of your home – is also of importance when looking to reap the rewards of insulation. The higher the R-value, the greater the reward! Fiberglass, cellulose, rock wool, and spray foam insulation all have different R-values per inch as you will notice below.
Why Invest in an Energy Audit?
One of the best ways to determine whether or not your home lacks sufficient levels of insulation is to schedule a comprehensive energy audit. This is something most electricity companies provide. A visual inspection and/or thermal imaging scan can detect cold spots, air leaks, energy stealing appliances and electronics, and insufficient levels of insulation. An energy audit should be performed if you live in an older house.
Understanding the Types of Insulation
There are four basic types of home insulation:
* Loose Fill Insulation – Loose cellulose or fiberglass insulation that is blown into a wall cavity or attic using a commercial-grade insulation blowing machine.
* Roll and Batt Insulation – Composed of mineral materials or fiberglass, this type of insulation material is best suited to homeowners seeking affordability, and high R-values.
* Spray Foam Insulation – Expandable spray foam that best suited for wall cavity, ceiling, and roof-deck applications. This type of insulation is resistant to surface heat and cold.
* Rigid Foam Insulation – High density foam, mineral or fiberglass boards that are commonly used in cathedral ceilings and on exterior walls.
R-Values of Insulation by Type
The R-values per inch of the most common types of insulation are as follows:
- Fiberglass (loose): 2.2-2.7
- Fiberglass (batts): 2.9-3.8
- Cellulose (loose): 3.2-3.8
- Rock Wool (loose): 3.0-3.3
- Foam (sprayed): 3.2-6.5
Winter is coming! Act now to ensure sufficient insulation levels by contacting us at (253) 584-7704 or visiting us at www.carriganddancerinsulation.com for a free initial estimate.