The Importance of Insulation in Heating and Cooling

Homeowners can run the HVAC system day and night to get the house to the desired temperature, but if the house is poorly insulated, the effort will be in vain. Insulation resists the flow of heat, keeping hot air out in summer and holding warm air in during winter.  Having a properly insulated home not only increases comfort, but can help to keep energy bills down.

The level of insulation in a home is measured in R-value. That value is based on the amount of insulation and the ability of the material it is made of to block heat transfer. Insulation comes in many forms, made of many different materials. These include fiberglass, mineral wool, cellulose, plastic fiber, natural fiber, polystyrene, and more.

The higher the R-value of a house, the better insulated it is. However, houses have a minimum R-value that works best. This value depends on a few variables such as where the home is located, the size, and the construction. Having a lower R-value than recommended means homeowners could be losing significant amounts of energy and money.

A good way for homeowners to see if their home is properly insulated is to check the attic. The attic is a key place for insulation, so if doesn’t have the proper amount, it could be a problem. If there are visible rafters in the attic, it generally means there isn’t enough insulation.

Ductwork is another important aspect of the home that needs to be properly insulated. If there isn’t sufficient insulation, the air flowing through the ducts may change temperature by the time it reaches the vents.

If the house isn’t getting to the desired temperature or the energy bill is huge, it might not be the HVAC system’s fault. Check the insulation to see if it is adequate. Increasing the insulation and R-value of the home could save homeowners money on their next energy bill.

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