The only way to achieve an energy efficient home is with adequate insulation properly installed in its envelope. The specific areas to insulate include the attic and walls, and in some cases, the floors.
What Insulation Does
Heat is constantly moving toward cold and it can’t be stopped, but it can be slowed, which is what insulation does. All types of insulation have an R-value that describes how many hours the product resists temperature change. R-13 refers to insulation that will resist thermal change for 13 hours. R-30 slows heat transfer for 30 hours.
Where to Put It
The attic is the most crucial part of your home for insulation since it has nonstop exposure to the elements. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends at least 16 inches in the attic. Adding more is fairly straightforward using batt or blown-in insulation.
Wall cavities should be completely filled and their R-value depends on whether you have 2 x 4 or 2 x 6 studs in the framing. Insulation professionals can blow loose cellulose or foam into existing walls without damaging them. Floors over uninsulated basements and garages are areas to insulate to keep rooms above them comfortable.
Best Installation Practices
In order to work well, insulation needs to be installed carefully.
- If there are any gaps between the exterior surface and the insulation, heat can move into and out of the uninsulated area. Batt insulation needs to be packed loosely into cavities instead of compressed to provide full protection.
- If you’re building an addition or removing drywall, you have a chance to prevent thermal bridging, another installation process that improves insulation’s performance. Bridging occurs when uninsulated materials with lower R-values have direct contact with an interior floor or wall, like the studs that support exterior walls.
- Insulation needs to be kept dry to be effective. Plumbing and roof leaks promote rot and mold growth.
Home insulation plays an essential role in keeping your home comfortable without having high heating or cooling bills. To learn more, contact Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing, providing trusted HVAC services for Indianapolis homeowners.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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