Trying to keep your home comfortable during the summer without sky-high cooling bills is difficult without adequate insulation in the walls and attic. Insulating materials are your only defense against the movement of heat, which constantly seeks cooler temperatures regardless of the season.
In the summer, heat moves into your home, and in the winter, it seeps out. Insulation slows the movement of heat, keeping year-round energy bills lower and increasing your comfort.
Rating Insulating Products
Products that insulate are rated by their ability to resist temperature change, expressed as their R-values. A product with an R-value of 30 will slow heat transfer for 30 hours. In this region, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends that attics have at least 10 inches of insulating materials in the attic and a combination of wall materials to reach an R-value of 13.
Assessing Insulated Areas
A trip to the attic with a ruler will show you how much and what kind of insulation it has, along with its condition. Mold or dampness on insulating material degrades its effectiveness and should be removed and replaced.
If you have less than the recommended 10 inches in the attic, consider adding more. The roof receives constant exposure to the sun, and prioritizing the attic will help you achieve greater energy efficiency and lower cooling bills.
Discovering the amount of insulating products in the walls is a bit more challenging. You can check it in rooms where heat gain is a problem by removing the face plate from an electrical outlet that sits on an exterior wall, after turning off its circuit breaker.
The wall cavity should be filled with cellulose or fiberglass. If there are gaps, consider hiring a contractor to blow in loose insulating materials or foam to fill the wall. Foam has the highest insulating value of all the insulating products available.
The insulation in the attic and the walls provides protection from the hot temperatures outdoors. For more information, contact Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions, providing trusted HVAC, home energy, and insulation services for Orlando-area homeowners.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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