Is Inadequate Insulation Costing You Energy Dollars?

Inadequate insulation can add substantial costs to heating and cooling your home, causing your HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) equipment to work overtime to keep your home comfortable. This can add significantly to your utility bills. If you live in an older home, it's worth a look at the insulation levels in your attic, walls and basement, to see where you can improve the thermal resistance of your home.

Heat always moves toward the cold, and when this occurs in a home with inadequate insulation, you lose heated air to the roof and walls in the winter, and gain it when you don't want it in the summer. The value of insulation is expressed in its R-value, which indicates how long it resists heat transfer for an hour. R-13 insulation can keep heat in for 13 hours, R-25 protects for 25 hours.

Energy Star recommends that homes in the Mid-Ohio area have between R-49 and R-60 in the attic, R-25 to R-30 in the floor, and at least R-5 behind the walls. Adding insulation to attics in existing homes is fairly easy, whether you hire someone to do the project or do it yourself. Batt and blown-in insulation can remedy inadequate insulation in attics to stop the transfer of heat.

Adding wall insulation is a bit more complicated in existing homes, and may require the services of a professional HVAC contractor. The easiest type to use is blown-in. Contractors remove small circles from the drywall and blow the insulation in between the studs. If you're remodeling and removing or adding drywall, using batt insulation is the easiest way to improve exterior wall insulation.

If you have water pipes that run through the ceiling an unheated basement, you may need professional direction before adding insulation to the ceiling. Suitable insulation for basement walls includes batt, as long as you have wall studs or rigid foam insulation, basically large sheets of polystyrene that have a high R-value, inch for inch.

To learn more about increasing home insulation, contact Joe Behr Plumbing and Heating, Inc.for more information. We have provided HVAC services in the Mid-Ohio area since 1965. 

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about insulation and other HVAC topics, visit our website.

Joe Behr Plumbing and Heating, Inc. services the Mid-Ohio area. 

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