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Deltona Homeowners: Now’s the Time to Upgrade Insulation

Posted on: October 4, 2014

Behind the scenes of your Deltona home, nested between the outer envelope of your home’s structure and the inner walls, sits the insulation. A key component that will either make or break your comfort, insulation acts as a barrier to heat. This innovative material stops heat from moving into your home during the summer, and in the winter, when you run your heater; it keeps that heat inside your home.

Time to Upgrade Insulation

Time to Upgrade Insulation

Now’s the time to upgrade insulation in your home.  This barrier is essential to home comfort, low energy bills, and a long-lasting HVAC system. Over time, however, insulation can start to break down, especially if it gets dirty or wet, or if it was improperly installed. If your insulation is old, you can benefit from upgrading it. Without efficient insulation, your HVAC system will have to work double-time, running more often to overcome heat loss (in winter) or heat gain (in summer).

Why upgrade insulation now?

Now that the weather is getting cooler, it’s an ideal time to upgrade insulation. While you may not want to tear down walls and floors to improve the insulation in the main living spaces, two good options exist for upgrading insulation: blowing insulation into the walls, or improving attic insulation. Blown-in insulation requires making small holes in the home’s exterior (or removing small sections of siding) for installation, while installing attic insulation is even easier. Most attics are easily accessible through a stairwell or pull-down entry, and with lower seasonal temperatures, the space is safe for workers.

Insulation 101

Insulation is given an R-value to show how efficient it is. R-value stands for “resistance” to heat flow. The higher the resistance, the more efficient the material. In addition, thin, dense insulation is generally more costly, but you can also less of it to fill a space.

For the Deltona region, Energy Star recommends insulation efficiency of R30 to R60 for an uninsulated attic, and R25 to R38 for homeowners who plan to add insulation to an already insulated attic.

Insulation inspection

While it’s best to enlist the help of an expert to evaluate existing insulation, it’s possible for homeowners to conduct an initial evaluation. Some of the signs you may notice that indicate insulation needs upgraded include:

  • Rooms that are drafty.
  • Extreme temperature differences among the rooms in your home.
  • Hot or cold walls, ceilings or rooms.
  • Increasingly higher energy bills.

You can also conduct a visual inspection of the insulation in the attic:

  • Look at insulation levels across the joists. If the insulation falls below the joists, or it is just level with them, you probably need additional insulation.
  • Check for consistency in insulation levels. Some areas of the attic may show insulation bulging over the joists (this is ideal). However, other areas may fall short, and dip below joists. If this is the case, you may need to add insulation to just some areas of the attic.

Of course, to inspect insulation in the home’s walls, you’ll need to hire a professional. An HVAC technician can conduct a thermographic scan of the home, which is essentially a “picture” of the home’s thermal capacity that shows where heat moves through the structure.

Benefits

Upgrading insulation in the home is one home project with a high return on investment. In particular, improving attic insulation provides significant perks, such as energy savings and comfort. When the attic heat can’t move into the home’s living spaces, you’ll be able to maintain a more consistent temperature in the living spaces, and you won’t need to run the air conditioner or heater as often. When you can better control the temperature, you’ll lower energy consumption and see savings on utility bills.

Insulation options

In many Deltona homes, experts turn to proven insulation materials to get the job done. These include:

  • Fiberglass batts. The batts are long rolls of insulation constructed from spun glass. The rolls are easy to install, and are specifically manufactured to fit within wall and floor joists.
  • Foam insulation. Ideal for tight spaces or corners, the foam insulation expands once installed and it has a high R-value per inch than materials like fiberglass or cellulose.
  • Usually manufactured from paper products, this kind of insulation is comparable to fiberglass; however, the manufacturing process uses less energy.

For help assessing the insulation in your home, contact Jacob Heating & Air Conditioning today! We’ve been helping homeowners in Deltona and West Volusia since 1921. Give us a call to ask about improving home efficiency, scheduling a heater maintenance appointment, or installing a more efficient HVAC system.