Check Your Attic Insulation Before The Winter Deep-Freeze Begins

Check Your Attic Insulation Before The Winter Deep-Freeze BeginsAttic insulation is the front line of home energy efficiency when temperatures plunge in the Wabash Valley this winter. The principles of physics state that heat energy naturally flows into colder areas. Since heat rises, that means most of the warmth in your home is trying to escape through your ceiling into the attic. Proper levels of attic insulation are crucial to slow down heat loss. Unfortunately, many homes constructed during a bygone era of lower utility rates are now under-insulated. Here are some guidelines to make sure your attic insulation is sufficient for the reality of today’s energy costs:

  1. The attic is the easiest area to upgrade insulation. Additional layers can be added without removing existing layers. Different types of insulation can be placed on top of each other. The procedure is within the skills of most do-it-yourselfers or can be performed by an HVAC professional at affordable costs. Depending on local energy prices, the cost of upgrading attic insulation can be offset by lower utility bills in an average of three years.
  2. Most insulation is of two types. Fiberglass “batts” are those blankets of pink, fibrous insulation you see in large rolls at the local home center. Pre-cut to fit between the ceiling joists in the attic, it rolls out easily over existing layers. Cellulose insulation is a loose-fill product composed of pulverized paper and fabric. Blown into your attic through a large hose, cellulose provides better coverage and resistance to heat transfer. Most cellulose installations are handled by professional insulation contractors.
  3. Insulation is rated by R-value per inch, which expresses its efficiency in resisting heat loss. Fiberglass has an R-value of 3.2 while cellulose is 3.8. For Indiana winters, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends a level of R49 to R60 in the attic. This translates to 15 to 18 inches of fiberglass or 12 to 15 inches of cellulose.

The premier choice for home comfort expertise in the Wabash Valley since 1922, Paitson Bros. Heating & Air Conditioning keeps homeowners warm all winter long. Call us for more advice on upgrading attic insulation before temperatures drop.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Terre Haute, Indiana about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about attic insulation and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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