Ways Insulation Benefits You in the Summer

Ways Insulation Benefits You in the SummerWhether winter or summer, insulation benefits home comfort and efficiency.  It’s a basic fact of physics: Heat energy moves from a warmer zone into a cooler zone. Insulation doesn’t care what season it is. It resists the movement of heat, no matter which direction heat’s flowing. During winter, insulation keeps the house warmer by slowing heat loss into the colder environment outside. In summer, insulation inhibits outdoor heat gain into the house, keeping the indoors cooler.

Why Summer Insulation Matters

Heat lives in your attic during summer. Solar energy radiates through the roof, super-heating air inside the enclosed space. On a hot day, temperatures up there commonly exceed 130 degrees. Consequences of attic heat include:

    • Heat energy radiates downwards through the ceiling into cooler living spaces.
    • Temperatures rise in rooms below; comfort is compromised.
    • Your air conditioner runs longer cycles to compensate for extra heat, so monthly cooling costs increase.

What stands in the way of heat gain from the attic is the critical layer of insulation installed in the attic floor. Usually, it’s one of two primary  materials:

    • Fiberglass batts are roll-out blankets of fibrous pink insulation that resembles cotton candy. It’s pre-cut and sized to fit between attic joists.
    • Cellulose loose fill is made of ground-up particles of paper and cloth. Blown into the attic under air pressure, mounds of cellulose have the appearance of fresh fallen snow.

How Much Do I Need?

Insulation is rated by it’s R-factor, a numeral that represents heat resistance. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends a minimum of R-38 for attic insulation up to a maximum of R-60. For most types of fiberglass, R-38 means a layer totaling 12 inches deep. For cellulose loose-fill, the minimum depth for R-38 is 10 inches.

If your attic insulation doesn’t meet current standards, or you’d like to add more to inhibit heat gain more effectively, it’s not necessary to remove existing insulation. New layers can simply be added atop the existing material.

Will your summer insulation keep you cool this season? Ask the pros at Paitson Bros., your source for home comfort and efficiency since 1922.

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