Insulation plays an important role in any manmade structure. Although you can’t see it, your insulation is working around the clock to improve the comfort of your home. Whether you’re building a new home or making upgrades to an older one, the right amount and type of insulation is necessary for many reasons. Keep reading to discover just why your home needs insulation for comfort, as well as how to recognize when it’s time to upgrade or replace your existing insulation for energy-saving benefits.
The Purpose of Insulation
Insulation serves a valuable function in your home. By preventing the exchange of air and heat between conditioned and unconditioned spaces, you insulation helps to maintain the indoor air temperature achieved by your HVAC system. Without insulation, the heated and cooled air produced by your furnace and air conditioner would be quickly lost to the outdoors; the energy consumed by these appliances to condition your indoor air would also be lost in the process, drastically increasing the energy—and financial—cost of heating and cooling you home. Thus, insulation acts like a protective shell for your home, maintaining indoor air temperature and increasing the overall energy efficiency of your home.
Upgrading Your Insulation
Because insulation has such a significant effect on your home’s energy efficiency, inadequate or insufficient insulation can raise your heating and cooling bills while reducing your indoor comfort. Insulation should work in tandem with your HVAC system to maintain a comfortable temperature indoors, reducing the load on your furnace and air conditioner so they will run less, require less energy, and last longer. In New York, it’s recommended to use insulation with an R-value of 13-15 for exterior walls, 30-38 for cathedral ceilings, 38-60 for attics, and 25-30 for floors located over unconditioned garages, basements, and crawlspaces. Regardless of the type of insulation you have, it should completely fill the space between conditioned and unconditioned areas of your home with no visible holes or gaps. Two of the most common reasons homeowners consider upgrading their insulation are high energy bills and trouble maintaining a comfortable indoor environment, even when the HVAC system is efficient and in good repair. However, there are other conditions that also signal the need to upgrade your insulation. If your home has suffered a leak or flood that has affected your insulation, it should be replaced. Wet insulation is no longer effective at maintaining a barrier against heat transfer; moisture trapped inside your insulation can also promote mold growth, which may spread to other areas of your home. Additionally, if you have experienced a pest, rodent, or wildlife infestation in any area of your home, such as an attic, basement, or garage, the insulation in these areas may have been damaged by animal activity. It’s important to schedule an insulation inspection after handling any type of infestation to determine whether your insulation is still sound, or whether it is damaged and needs replacement.
If you have questions about home insulation, we have answers—please visit our website to learn more about the insulation products and services we offer throughout Long Island and the New York metropolitan area. You’ll also find more information online about retrofitting your insulation , opting for eco-friendly insulation materials, and scheduling a home energy audit to determine how you can save money on heating and cooling.