How Can Attic Insulation Help You Save Energy?

How Can Attic Insulation Help You Save Energy?If you’re considering ways to increase home energy efficiency, attic insulation needs to be high on your list. No matter what season, heat energy is always on the move — unfortunately, usually in the wrong direction. During winter, heat generated by your furnace naturally rises and conducts out of rooms through the ceiling. Your furnace runs longer cycles to compensate. In our hot Indiana summers, an attic becomes a reservoir of accumulated heat that radiates down through the ceiling, raising temperatures in rooms below and over-working your air conditioner.

Attic insulation is what stands between you and seasonal heat loss or heat gain, as well as the higher energy bills that accompany both. Here are a few fast facts to consider:

What Type?

Insulation in your attic is usually one of two types or a mixture of both. The effectiveness of insulating materials is rated by its R-value — a numeral that expresses how well it inhibits heat transfer. The higher the R-value, the more energy-efficient the insulation.

Fiberglass batts are the familiar rolls of pink “cotton-candy” insulation pre-cut to fit between the ceiling joists in the attic. Standard fiberglass batts come with an R-value of 3.2 per inch.

Cellulose loose-fill, composed of pulverized bits of paper, is blown into attics under air pressure and resembles a layer of freshly fallen snow. Cellulose is generally more effective than fiberglass with an R-value of 3.8 per inch.

How Deep?

In our climate zone, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends insulating to a depth of R49 to R60. That translates to 15 to 18 inches of fiberglass or 12 to 15 inches of cellulose.

Insulation can be upgraded to meet current DOE standards simply by adding more to achieve the recommended total depth. No need to remove the existing layers. You can even mix types: a common approach is to cover existing fiberglass batts with a new layer of blown-in cellulose for best heat resistance.

Paitson Bros. has optimized energy efficiency for Terre Haute homeowners since 1922. Contact us for more information about upgrading your attic insulation.

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 Guide or call us at 812-645-6859.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “irin k/Shutterstock”

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