Insulation

Why should you properly insulate your home?

Upgrading your insulation, or ensuring that you have the proper amount/kind of insulation, can be a great investment in your home.  Remodeling your kitchen or your bathroom, may be a little more exciting or more aesthetically pleasing to the eyes when it comes to investing in your home.  Improving the insulation in your home can yield a 100 percent (or more) return on your investment, as well; increasing the value of your home!  Having proper insulation can also go a LONG way toward improving the overall efficiency of your home.   In the average home, you can expect to spend 50-60% of the energy bill on heating and cooling.  Insufficient insulation is a primary cause of energy waste in most homes.  Proper insulation can make your home more comfortable to live in by maintaining the temperature throughout the home.  You will be warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.  Proper insulation can help save money on your energy bills.  Who wouldn’t want to save money?

The amount of energy you save will depend on several factors:

  • the shape, size, and build of your home
  • the habits of the people living in the home
  • and the efficiency of the heating and cooling systems and the fuel that powers them

 

Smart Energy Today can help you with your insulation needs, and make sure that your home is insulated properly. When it comes to insulation, there are many different kinds and variations out there today.  We can help you choose what’s right for you, determine how much you need for your home, and install it for you.

What are U-value and R-value?

There are three ways that heat can flow: conduction, radiation, and convection.  All insulation is rated based on its thermal resistance to heat flow. This rating is measured in units of R-value.  The higher the R-value, the better the insulation.  The U-value is the rating given to insulation based on its thermal conductivity.  The U-value describes how quickly the energy is traveling in/out of your house, while the R-value describes how resistant the insulation will be to that heat flow.  The higher the R-value (high resistance) is, the lower the U-value (speed of heat loss) will be, thus creating a much more efficient home.

Insulation-Value-Chart

What kind of insulation do you already have?

If you are looking to upgrade the insulation already existing in your home, there are a couple things you will need to look for.  There are three main areas of a home where you can find insulation: the attic, the walls, and the crawlspace (or floor).

The Attic

The attic is typically the easiest place to start when looking to upgrade or improve your insulation, only because it is the easiest to gain access to.  Look in your attic and determine what kind of insulation your already have. You can do a rough calculation for the R-value of your existing insulation, and determine if you have a sufficient amount or if you need to add to what you already have.  Below is a simple chart that can help you with this.

What type of insulation do you see? Depth (inches) R-value
Loose, light-weight fibers; yellow, pink, or white in color (typically fiberglass) ________________ =depthx2.5
Loose, dense fibers; grey or white in color, may have black specks (typically cellulose) ________________ =depthx3.7
Loose, small, flat fibers or pieces; grey-ish color, from newsprint (typically rock wool) ________________ =depthx2.8
Light-weight granules (typically vermiculite or perlite) ________________ =depthx2.7
Light-weight batts; yellow, pink, or white in color (typically fiberglass) ________________ =depthx3.2

Example: If you see pink fiberglass batting, positioned in-between the trusts on the floor in your attic that is about 12 inches deep, then you probably have insulation with about an R-38 value (12×3.2).

If you see multiple layers of insulation, calculate the R-value for each layer, and then just add the R-values together to get the total R-value for your attic insulation. For example, If you see 10 inches of pink batting with another 3 inches of loose white fibers on top, based on the chart above, your insulation will be an estimated total of  R-40.

If you notice that your insulation is very minimal or very compacted, you should contact Smart Energy Today! We can talk to you about what you have, what you need, and the options that we can offer you to get your home running as efficiently as possible.

The Walls

It is much more difficult to upgrade or add to the insulation in your existing walls.  You would need to completely open up the walls to see what you have and to upgrade if necessary.  This  would involve dry walling and painting everything as necessary when you are done.  We recommend you contact a professional, like Smart Energy Today, if you are interested in upgrading the insulation in your walls.  We have professional technicians that can help with this.

The Crawl Space

You can measure the insulation in the crawl space under your house, very similarly to how you would in your attic.  Take a look at what you have, measure the depth, and multiply it (according to the chart above) to find the total R-value.

Insulation R-value Standards

Each state has a standard when it comes to proper insulation based on the climate in which you live.  You can visit the Department of Energy for an R-value calculator to find out the exact standards based on the type of home you have, your location and your climate.

IECC-R-values  IECC-R-values_Northeast

Types of insulation

There are many types of insulation.  See Types of Insulation, for more information on the different kinds of insulation that are available today.  What would work best for your home depends on size, shape, and construction. Average homes typically have fiberglass batting, or blow-in insulation, both of which are good products.  Smart Energy Today offers a new product that can revolutionize your home’s insulation.  Sol-Blanket Insulation is a product that was first developed by NASA over 50 years ago.  It is unique because its main objective is to reflect the energy either back into your home during colder months or reflect it back out during warmer months.  Most insulation products depend on thermal resistance to keep your home warm or cool. The Sol-Blanket Insulation can easily be installed over the top of the insulation that you currently have in your home, and it can immediately start saving you money on your energy bills.  Contact Us today to learn more about this product, and to see about getting it installed in your home!