Understanding the Importance of Having the Right Insulation in Your Attic
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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
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