If your home is not comfortable, has trouble maintaining temperature, or you are experiencing large heating or cooling bills, it may be time to add insulation to your home. Insulation helps control conduction, one of the ways heat flows through the home. One of the most common areas that homes can benefit from adding insulation is in the attic.
How Insulation Helps Control Heat Lost Through Conduction
The transfer of heat by contact with solid objects such as the walls, floor, ceiling, or roof is called conduction. Adding insulation in these areas to provide a good thermal barrier can help decrease the amount of heat transfer, which means cooler temperatures in the summer and warmer temperatures in the winter. HVAC systems will have to work less hard to maintain the desired temperature when less heating/cooling escapes through conduction.
How Insulation Performance is Measured
Insulation is rated by the amount of thermal resistance. This resistance, known as an R-value, refers to the amount of heat insulation can resist over time. A higher R-value indicates a higher heat resistance. Newer insulation has a higher R-value than old insulation that is probably already installed in your home. Adding additional layers of insulation can increase the R-value of your home and bring down heating and cooling costs.
Potential Benefits of Adding Insulation
Adding insulation to your home can have a number of benefits:
- Decreased living costs;
- Increased occupant comfort;
- Decreased energy demand;
- Decreased greenhouse gas emission; and
- Lower energy bills.
Where to Add Additional Insulation
Adding additional insulation to the attic is critical because more heat travels through your ceiling than any other structure in the house. The attic is the most cost effective, quickest, and easiest place to add additional layers of insulation. You can measure your attic’s current insulation rating by measuring the thickness of the insulation in your attic and multiplying it by that insulation R-value.