Check Your Insulation With These Tips One of the best ways to boost efficiency in your home is to ensure that you have adequate insulation. Insulation should be of sufficient thickness in strategic sites throughout the home to prevent heat from migrating through the ceiling or walls. Insulation will save money winter and summer on your utility bills if it is installed properly.

It’s important to check your insulation now and then, to make sure it’s in good shape (not damp or moldy) and that there is enough of it to prevent heat loss. Many homeowners are capable of assessing insulation levels and adding as needed, but a professional insulation installer will do the best job.

R-Value

Insulation is rated with an R-value, with R standing for how much heat resistance the insulating material has. Suggested R-values vary depending on what region you live in. R-values for our region, known as Zone 5, are suggested below.

Gas, oil furnace or heat pump

  • attic: R-38 to R-60
  • cathedral ceiling: R-30 to R-38
  • wall cavity: R-13 to R-15
  • floor: R-25 to R-30

Electric furnace

  • attic: R-38 to R-60
  • cathedral ceiling: R-30 to R-60
  • wall cavity: R-13 to R-21
  • floor: R-25 to R-30

Insulation levels need not be consistent throughout the entire home. It’s more efficient to use higher R-value insulation in attics and rooms with cathedral ceilings than in basements, crawl spaces with walls and in wood frame walls. Attics need higher R-values than walls because heat rises and will be lost through the ceiling.

Checking Insulation

If the insulation levels on the attic floor are level with or lower than the joists, you should add more. Insulation should be evenly distributed.

If the R-value isn’t printed on the insulation batts, measure the depth with a measuring tape. Consult the insulation table from energy.gov. Calculate R-value by multiplying the depth by the number of your insulation that you find on the graph. If it’s less than the recommended levels on the graph, add more.

For more advice on how to check your insulation, contact Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing. We serve Indianapolis and the surrounding area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).