Understanding Why Attic Insulation Is an Essential Home Improvement
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How Insulation Works
Everyone knows their home needs insulation, but not everyone understands the science of insulation. Understanding the importance of having the right insulation in your attic and the impact that it can have on your home's energy efficiency and comfort is essential.
How Insulation Impacts Your Home
The purpose of insulation is to limit heat transfer. In your attic, that involves both preventing conditioned air in the living space from escaping to the attic and preventing unconditioned air from entering the home.
If you know how your home's insulation works, you can also understand what makes it malfunction and contribute to poor energy performance in a house. Here's what can go wrong:
- Voids: Voids are areas of missing insulation. These can happen as a product of improper installation or be required by code. For example, an insulation void is required around a recessed "can" light that is not rated for insulation contact. Whatever the reason, insulation voids allow heat transfer by convection and radiation. Research has shown that just a 4% void in fiberglass batts insulation can result in a 50% reduction in insulation effectiveness.
- Compression: Compression happens when fiberglass batts insulation is pushed down, which eliminates many of the tiny trapped air pockets that provide insulation value.
- Air movement: Air passing through insulation diminishes insulation effectiveness because it deposits dirt in the air pockets of the insulation, reducing its ability to resist convective heat loss. To effectively slow heat transfer, the air pockets in insulation must be clean. This is why air sealing is essential before adding insulation.
- Moisture: When insulation is exposed to moisture, R-value is decreased because the air pockets that are supposed to provide resistance to heat transfer are now filled with water!
Choosing the Right R-Value for Your Home
All insulation shares a common unit of measure known as R-value. The "R" stands for resistance to heat flow. A high R-value means greater resistance to heat flow and thus, greater insulating value. R-value is described both in R-value per inch and in total R-value.
The Department of Energy recommends homes have attic insulation that provides between R-38 and R-49, depending on your climate. Blown cellulose insulation from Attic Systems is the most efficient method to reach this level and improve your home's energy performance.
The Information Above Was Found On www.atticsystems.com
DunRite Can Start Your Way Onto Energy Savings
If your home is as little as 5 to 10 years old, you likely have one of the 46 million under-insulated homes in the US, according to the Harvard University School of Public Health.
Overall, heating and cooling account for 50%-70% of the energy used in the average home, as noted by the Department of Energy. The leading causes for energy loss in a typical home are not enough insulation and too much air leakage. A properly insulated home will reduce the chance of heat loss and can also help stop the creation of ice dams.
One of the lowest cost options for improving the energy efficiency of your home is insulation and DunRite can start your way onto energy savings. The use of the correct levels of insulation in the attic area will typically give you the best savings, but it depends on your particular home. Insulation pays off quickly and keeps paying off with better comfort and energy savings for as long as you own your home.
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