Having a properly insulated home is key to energy efficiency. Your home’s insulation acts as a thermal resistor that controls the airflow passing in and out of your home. If you’ve noticed a steady increase in electric bills, yet you feel like you’re consuming a consistent amount of energy, your insulation could be in need of replacement. And insulation goes beyond just maintaining energy efficiency, it also reduces outside noise, moisture, and the chance of ice dam formation.
By having the proper R-value, your home’s insulation will be more effective. You can cut down on those utility bills by as much as 30% and even be eligible for a federal tax credit. Having the correct amount of insulation in your home reduces the heat flow, which in turn reduces the amount of energy required to heat or cool your home. To maximize energy efficiency, your home should be insulated from the basement through the attic. Not sure how efficiently your insulation is working? Your energy auditor is a good resource, who can help in determining how well your insulation is performing.
If your home needs more insulation or a total installation replacement all together, start by determining what type of insulation is needed to meet the required R-value level. R-value is the level that your home can resist heat flow going through its walls and insulation. A home’s thermal resistance is based on the R-value, where the higher the R-value, the greater the effectiveness of the insulation resisting unwanted airflow. There are several factors that determine what R-value is needed for your home including the insulation material, its thickness, and its density. There are recommended R-value levels for each climate zone and those values can even be narrowed down to whether the insulation is installed in the basement or the attic.
So whether you’re looking to lower your utility bill, decrease the moisture in your home, or be able to relax in peace and quiet from the outside world, remember to to follow the R-value recommendations.