The proper amount of insulation can be different for every home based on the geographic location, materials used in the construction of the home and type of heating. So when is it the right time to replace the insulation in your attic or home? It is simple. It’s not an issue of right or wrong. Either you have the recommended/required amount or you don’t.
How Insulation Works
Insulation level are specified by R-Value. R-Value is a measure of insulation’s ability to resist heat traveling through it. A higher R-value results in better thermal performance from the insulation. This means the R-value of your existing insulation needs to be determined. Depending on the type of insulation, over time it can lose R-value. The R-value reported at the manufacturer may be incorrect seven years later, for example. To determine the R-value of your insulation measure the thickness of your existing insulation.
Once you have the depth of your existing insulation use the following table from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (A multiprogram science and technology laboratory for the U.S Department of Energy) to determine the R-value based on the type of insulation in your attic..
Now that you know the R-value of your existing insulation you can refer to your local building codes for required R-values in new/existing homes. This is a good indicator of what the R-value of the insulation in your home should be. You can also refer to the Oak Ridge National Laboratories R-value recommendations based on the status of your home (new/existing), fuel type (Natural Gas/Electric Baseboard etc…) and the first three digits of your zip code.
A well-sealed envelope, coupled with the right amount of insulation, and a radiant barrier can make a real difference in comfort of your whole home, on utility bills and adds value to your home. A well-sealed envelope means the home does not have air entering/escaping from doors or windows, there is adequate ventilation and insulation in the attic and that ducts are sealed.
In regards to a radiant barrier, they are usually installed in attics and crawl spaces and consist of a highly reflective material that reflects radiant heat rather than absorbs it. Think of a potato wrapped in foil. It stays warmer longer. Combined with traditional insulation a radiant barrier is effective at keeping heat out in the summer and keeping heat in the home in the winter resulting in a more comfortable home. The radiant barrier can even allow for a smaller cooling system in the home reducing equipment cost and energy requirements.
Smart Energy Today, Inc.™ is a certified installer of traditional and reflective insulation systems and features a radiant barrier solution called Sol-Blanket Insulation™. Sol-Blanket Insulation™ acts as a radiant barrier and complements traditional insulation.
Smart Energy Today, Inc.™ is located in Olympia and serves all of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California and Pennsylvania. The company specializes in the installation of insulation and solar products that are durable and maintenance-free, saving you money and making your home or business warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Smart Energy Today, Inc.™ is proud of its superior products and service and always strives for positive reviews.