Home insulation is what stands between you and high operating costs caused by home heat loss in winter and heat gain during summer. One way heat moves out of or into your home is direct air leaks – cracks and gaps in the structure. However, heat also transfers through the ceiling and walls by conduction and radiation. Home insulation retards heat transfer through solid materials to reduce the load on your furnace and air conditioner, in turn cutting monthly energy expenses. To maximize your insulation investment, it’s worthwhile to prioritize the areas where insulating will provide the biggest protection at the most reasonable cost.
Because heat naturally rises, your attic is a primary destination for an insulation upgrade. Another reason is accessibility: the attic’s generally the easiest place in the home to add to existing insulation.
Attic insulation is universally available as roll-out batts pre-cut to fit between attic ceiling joists. Another common insulating substance is cellulose loose-fill, which resembles mounds of snow and is blown into your attic under air pressure. In the Sarasota climate, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends fiberglass from 10 to 18 inches deep and cellulose from 8 to 16 inches. If desired, you can mix types, for example adding cellulose on top of an existing layer of fiberglass.
If you’re not planning a renovation soon, blown-in fiberglass or cellulose is the best option. It can be injected into wall voids through small holes that are easily resealed. If you’re remodeling and opening up walls anyway, consider taking advantage of the opportunity to install two-part spray foam or wet cellulose for both superior insulation as well as the added benefit of air sealing. For the budget option, fiberglass batts in wall voids also provide good density, but don’t seal air leaks.
Where HVAC ducts are routed through unconditioned zones like the attic or crawl space, heat loss or heat gain may occur from ductwork due to acute temperatures. Insulating ducts in these zones helps keep operating costs down.
For more information on bringing your home insulation up to date, please contact us at Aqua Plumbing & Air.