Insulation is an essential part of your home that creates a thermal barrier between the inside of your house and the outdoors. It reduces the flow of heat, allowing your home to stay cooler or warmer than the air outside.
Without insulation, your home would constantly be exchanging heat with the air outside, and you’d have to run your air conditioner or heater even more to keep up. That would lead to a massive waste of energy and the high utility bills that come with it.
How Does Insulation Reduce Heat Flow?
Every material conducts heat, but different materials do so at different rates. The materials used to make insulation are chosen for their resistance to heat flow. They only allow heat to pass through slowly.
That resistance is described using the R-value of the insulation. Insulation with a higher R-value is better at reducing heat flow. Most types of insulation feature multiple layers with air in between, creating many barriers to heat flow.
Where Does My Home Need Insulation?
Your home has insulation at many key points to prevent heat from entering or escaping. Ensuring that all of these areas have high-quality insulation in good condition can keep your home comfortable and your utility bills low.
The majority of your home’s envelope is made up of walls. They provide the largest surface area for heat to exit or enter your home, so it’s important that they’re insulated effectively. They’ll often feature insulation between studs or panel insulation over the exterior.
You probably don’t think much about this type of insulation because it’s installed when your home is built and is safely sealed away behind the walls. It is isolated from the elements and pests, so you generally don’t have to worry about damage to it.
Ceiling insulation can provide an effective barrier between the stories of your home. If you live in a multi-story home, then heat continuously travels upward. This effect can create difficulties in keeping your home at a comfortable temperature.
Ceiling insulation helps deal with this heat transfer and also provides some soundproofing for your home. Insulation’s fibrous and porous nature makes it perfect for reducing heat flow and muffling noise.
Your attic should be isolated from the rest of your home. You don’t want to waste money cooling or heating your attic, and you also want to keep it the same temperature as outside to prevent damage to your roof.
Attics should also be well-ventilated with outside air to prevent moisture issues. With so much air flowing through, you don’t want the cooling and heating for your home to be wasted in your attic.
Crawl Space Insulation
Crawl space insulation is also important. As with an attic, you don’t want to waste energy cooling and heating a space you don’t use. Insulation under your floor will isolate the crawl space, which helps keep your floors the same temperature as the rest of your home.
How Can I Be Sure I Have Proper Insulation?
The best way to find out whether you have sufficient insulation is to reach out to a professional insulation contractor. They can carry out an assessment to determine whether you need additional or replacement insulation.
These contractors have tools that can identify where heat is entering or exiting your home. The contractor can then provide you with a variety of options for new insulation.