What You Need to Know About Attic Insulation
When it comes to your comfort, a well-insulated attic is just as important as a great heating and cooling system. Without this thermal barrier between your living spaces and the outdoors, it’s virtually impossible to maintain a comfortable indoor environment. Most homes in and around Austin, Texas don’t have adequate levels of attic insulation. HVAC systems are forced to run longer to counteract heat lost in the winter and gained during the summer. Learn more about how attic insulation can increase your comfort and decrease your energy bills every throughout the year.
How Attic Insulation Works
It’s common knowledge that heat rises, but the changes in air pressure this causes impact your comfort as well. Winter, spring, summer or fall, air pressure is always highest near the ceiling. This so-called “stack effect” draws air from the bottom of your home and sends it upwards. Air leaks from drafty windows compound the effect, pulling in outdoor air that makes your HVAC systems work harder. By sealing leaks and adding insulation, you can put an end to this waste of energy and money:
- Cold-Weather Comfort. In winter, insulation adds a layer of resistance to the flow of heat. This helps prevent the air you’ve paid to warm your home from escaping into the attic. The material’s effectiveness at thermal resistance is measured by its R-value, with higher numbers indicating a greater ability to reduce heat transfer.
- Relief from Summer Heat. During the dog days of summer, solar radiation comes into play. A sunbaked roof can raise attic temperatures as high as 150 degrees. Insulation helps to keep heat out of your living spaces so that your air conditioner can operate more effectively.
- Year-Round Benefits. By controlling the flow of heat in and out of your home, insulation makes your home more comfortable year round. Sealing and insulating helps maximize HVAC efficiency too, offering you substantial financial savings over the life of your comfort systems.
Types of Insulation
Few building materials come in a wider array of materials and applications than insulation. Popular options range from fiberglass batts and rigid foam boards to spray foam and blown-in cellulose. Insulation decisions start with setting an R-value goal, which is determined by material type, thickness and weight per square foot. For homes in Central and South Texas, that means aiming for an overall R-value between R30 and R60. In addition to upfront costs, other factors to consider include:
- Proper Installation. The thermal performance of all types of insulation is dependent on proper installation. For example, a batt that leaves a gap against studs won’t achieve the results you want. One that is compressed or packed in too tightly is just as ineffective.
- Fire and Insect Resistance. Ensure that insulation made from flammable materials like cellulose or cotton is treated with the mineral borate or ammonium sulfate. These additives offer a measure of protection against fire and pests.
- Long-Term Savings. Weigh the advantages of low-cost materials against their long-term effectiveness. Loose-fill fiberglass, for example, costs significantly less than polyurethane spray foam but can’t compare when it comes to energy savings.
Attic Insulation Services
Whether you want to improve your existing insulation or replace it altogether, you don’t have to go it alone. The insulation specialists at Woods Comfort Systems are readily available to help when you need it. You can rely on our 60 years of experience serving South Central Texas to guide you toward the right choices for attic insulation and other HVAC needs. Our insulation services mean you won’t have to worry about what to do to enjoy a more comfortable home as the seasons change.
As your full-service provider, Woods Comfort System is equipped to handle additional attic projects like improving ventilation. For more information about our money-saving services, take a look at our insulation solutions or call our experts today at 512-842-5066.
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