The Department of Energy estimates that heating and cooling a home accounts for approximately 50 to 70 percent of the home’s total energy costs, making it the single largest consumption of energy in your house. A poorly insulated home can not only make your living space less comfortable, but also cost you money. SSI’s residential HVAC professionals know how important it is to not only have properly working air-conditioners and furnaces, but also well insulated homes for those units to work in.
Attic spaces are often poorly insulated, particularly in older homes. This issue can drastically affect your utility bills each month if not corrected. Up to 40 percent of your home’s warm or cool air can be lost with poor insulation, which will make your utility bills rise almost as much.
A general rule of thumb is that most attics should have an R value of at least 38, if not more. One useful tool for any homeowner is the Department of Energy’s Zip-Code Insulation Program Calculator. This tool allows you to enter your zip code, as well as the type of fuel your home uses, to calculate the optimal insulation levels you need. Homes in areas with extreme temperatures will need higher insulation to account for the difference between inside and outside temperatures.
Properly sealing off air leaks into your attic is also a great way to ensure your home is properly insulated. Wires, vent pipes, recessed lighting and electrical boxes create holes that connect your interior space with the attic space. Make sure that these areas are well sealed with caulk or expanding foam. Many of these small leaks can add up to large losses of energy over time.
Make sure your home is ready for every season by properly insulating your attic space and thus your home. Your home will be more energy efficient and you will save money each month when the utility bills arrive.