From Engineering on November 13, 2013 in Air Conditioning & Heating
With the rising cost of current energy sources, the price of heating a typical home is becoming astronomical. As the days shorten and the nights lengthen, having a reliable heating system that can efficiently warm the home is important. What is even more important than that, though, is having effective insulation that helps retain the heat. The simple addition of extra insulation in the attic of your home could equal out to a savings upwards of $600 a year. For as little effort as is required with this type of home improvement, that is a significant savings.
How Heat Moves
Heat moves three ways: by radiation, conduction, and convection. Radiation is best explained in relation to the sun. The rays of the sun exude heat and release warmth on anything they touch. This is radiation, one common type of heat.
Conduction is the movement of heat from one material to an adjacent material. In conduction the transfer of heat is always from hot to cold. A pot of water coming to a boil on a stove top is an example of conduction.
Finally, convection is the transfer of heat within a liquid or gas. When it comes to heat transfer in the winter, this is the main type, since it is the air in your home that will need heating. However, all three of these work together to necessitate effective insulation in a home. The better the insulation the more able the home is to retain heat and the less likely it is to lose heat.
Determining the Need for Insulation
While adding insulation may seem like a reasonable attempt to save money on the heating bill, adding insulation where no more is needed does little more than cost extra money. To determine if your home is in need of additional attic insulation, examine the current insulation in the attic. A good rule of thumb for attic insulation involves comparing it to the joists. If the current insulation only reaches to the top of the joists, you likely need to add more. If when viewing the insulation you cannot see the joists, you do not need to add any additional insulation.
Benefits of Adding Insulation
There are three main benefits of adding insulation to an existing structure.
1. Additional insulation blocks unwanted heat.
2. Added insulation reduces the workload of both the heating and cooling system.
3. The additional insulation typically generates additional savings on utility bills.
Insulating the Attic
Once you have determined if adding insulation to your attic will be beneficial, consider the different methods for insulating the attic. In addition to choosing between the three most common methods of installation, you will also need to decide whether you prefer to complete the installation yourself or to have a professional do it. The cost of professional installation costs approximately $1,500 for an 800-square-foot attic while the cost to do it yourself is about half that.
Roll-On or Blanket Insulation—This type of insulation is often the most common and is designed to fit the typical attic framing, usually 15 or 23 inches wide. Just like it sounds, this type of insulation is simply rolled out like a blanket. The installation should be completed by rolling the pieces at right angles covering the framing.
Blown-In Insulation—Another choice, this loose-fill or blown-in insulation is installed using a machine that streams the insulation over the existing framing and is typically completed by a professional contractor.
Sprayed Foam Polyurethane—This type of insulation is the most costly insulation choice. However, it allows you to use the attic as a room as the insulation is sprayed on the roof rather than the floor.
According to Energy Star ratings, the addition of insulation as well as other small home improvements can render a utility bill savings of 19 to 20 percent. When you consider that amount of savings year after year, you cannot help but see the benefit of reinsulating the attic. If you need help finding a home insulation contractor, just submit your request at Calfinder.com and we’ll help you out.