As Colorado and Wyoming homeowners look for ways to save on their energy costs, many overlook the obvious: remedying inadequate insulation in their houses. Compared to buying a high-efficiency furnace or air conditioning unit, adding insulation is much less expensive up front.
Most homes are built with R-11 insulation in the walls and R-30 in the attic. However, older homes may not have this much insulation. If you have to choose, attic insulation is more important than the insulation in your walls, because heat rises. A properly insulated attic will do more to keep heat in and cold out in cold Rocky Mountain winters than heavily insulated walls can. Likewise, that attic insulation helps to ensure that the summer’s heat beating on the roof of the house stays out, so that the cool air can stay inside.
Among the reasons your attic insulation may be inadequate:
In some cases, you can judge the quality of the insulation in your attic just by looking. If you see areas where the insulation is missing or the ceiling joists are visible through the insulation, you have inadequate insulation. Those visible ceiling joists only have an insulation value of around R-4, nowhere near the R-49 to R-60 that the federal government recommends for climates like ours. To have an insulation value of R-49, you would need at least 15 inches of insulation.
The results are often surprising: Many homeowners see significantly lower energy bills immediately after beefing up their attic insulation.
Your heating and cooling contractor can provide you with an accurate evaluation of your home’s insulation. If you need assistance, or have additional questions about insulating your home, be sure to contact us here at the Rheem Pro Partner. Serving customers in Colorado and Wyoming, we are always glad to help.
Insulation image via Shutterstock