Home Insulation Upgrades | Heating and Air Conditioning
Insulation is a primary factor in maintaining your home’s comfort year round, as well maintaining energy efficiency. Insulation and the installation of new heating and air conditioning with energy efficient features work together in providing a comfortable home and reducing energy use. If you are considering an insulation upgrade for your home, consider that proper insulation will reduce the required workload on your home’s heating and air conditioning extending its service life, and reducing the need for repairs.
Where to check:
- The attic is the most cost-effective location to add insulation. When existing insulation is substandard you can benefit with an insulation upgrade by adding more insulation. As a general rule, if you can see the ceiling rafters in whole or part, the attic insulation should be upgraded.
- It is easy to check the underside of the floor above in an unfinished basement. Installing insulation will help to keep the floor above warm and will separate it from the cool air of the basement below. This same principal applies if your home has a crawl space. Warmer floors prevent cold radiation from entering your home, increasing comfort, and decreasing energy costs of heating and air conditioning.
- Adding insulation to the walls of an existing home is a difficult task most homeowners don’t address. Unless you are replacing exterior siding, replacing interior walls or building an addition, the only other means of potentially insulating the walls blown in or foam insulation. Not all wall construction will be conducive to this process.
If you aren’t certain how well insulated your home is, energy analysis’ can reveal the level of insulation, including the walls. You may be able to obtain an idea of the extent of wall insulation by removing a wall switch cover on an exterior wall. If there is enough gap beside the switch box, you may be able to visualize the insulation using a flashlight. Do not insert items as shock may occur.
Considering insulating guidelines have increased with more recent energy standards, older homes may not be insulated to current standards. For example, in 1995 your location may have recommended R-11 wall insulation, whereas current guidelines now recommend R-13 or above. Home insulation upgrades from R-11 to R-13 isn’t generally considered cost effective unless you are updating siding, interior wall covering, or adding an addition. A low cost DIY solution to air leaks around switches and outlets is to add foam insulators behind the plates to prevent drafts.
The most commonly used types of insulation are blankets, batts, loose fill (blown), foam, rigid and reflective insulation. Each has its own resistance value (R-value) which is an indication of its resistance to heat flow. Each area of your home (attic, walls and floor) will have a different recommended R-value factor dependent upon the region you live in. The insulation industry is consistently expanding with new innovations entering the market frequently. It is worth the time to look into what is new when you plan to insulate.
For the best results when you are considering adding insulation or upgrading to new energy efficient heating and air conditioning inform your HVAC contractor as insulation value is one of the factors that will affect the specifications of your home’s heating and air conditioning. For example, a well-insulated home may require a smaller HVAC system for the home.
Are you ready for a new heating and air conditioning installation to complement your home insulation upgrades? Call the professionals of Garland Heating and Air Conditioning to schedule a free consultation. We offer certified HVAC technicians with the expertise to provide first quality services.