How Insulation Keeps You Comfortable at Home
We all know we should have insulation in our homes for greater energy efficiency, but do you know why? What does insulation really do, and how does it affect the comfort of your home?
Insulation is one of the most important aspects of a comfortable, energy efficient home, whether you’re battling the heat of a Nashville summer or a cold day in winter. Yet, up to 90% of homes in the US are under-insulated or have no insulation at all. If your home is one of them, your HVAC system won’t keep up, your home comfort will suffer and your utility bills will be much higher than they need to be. Here’s why.
Understanding Heat Flow
Heat flows from where it’s warm to where it’s cool until the temperature evens out. That means if it’s cold outside and warm inside, your heat (if your house isn’t well insulated or air sealed) will flow right out of your home through all the gaps and cracks it can find. In many homes, the energy loss is equal to leaving a window wide open. Imagine your heating system trying to keep up with that kind of heat loss!
In summer, when your air conditioner is running, the heat outside is constantly trying to get inside to warm up your home. Again, without air sealing, which fills those gaps and cracks, or insulation, which slows this process, your air conditioner will work constantly in an attempt to remove this hot air from your home.
So much energy is required to try to keep your home comfortable in these conditions that your utility bills can be astronomically high. And no matter how hard your air conditioner works, it won’t provide the cool comfort you’re looking for.
How Home Insulation Affects Heat Flow
Now let’s introduce insulation into the picture (along with air sealing, which helps insulation do its job). Air sealing will fill all the gaps and cracks through which air moves freely from your home to the outside and vice versa. Insulation is then installed to form a barrier between your living area and all other parts of your home or the outside. The insulation holds your conditioned air in your home’s thermal envelope, slowing the movement of hot air, keeping you warm and cozy in winter and cool as a cucumber in summer.
Now your air conditioner needs to cool only a finite space—your living space. It will run less often, require fewer repairs and be less likely to break down in the middle of a heat wave. With your unit running less frequently, you use less energy yet are more comfortable than before. The same goes for your furnace, so your energy bills are greatly reduced all year.
Types of Insulation
There are many different types of insulation, so you’ll want a professional to help you decide which type is best for the area of your home that’s being treated. The effectiveness of insulation is rated by its R-value, or thermal resistance. The higher the R-value, the more effective the insulation is. R-value depends on insulation type, thickness and density.
Spray foam insulation, often used for attic insulation and crawl spaces, has the unique ability to effectively seal and insulate at the same time. E3 Innovate uses water-blown spray foam insulation, which doesn’t use any environmentally harmful chemicals. Our insulation experts can help you with whole home insulation, from your attic to your walls, floors, ceilings and basement or crawl space, ensuring your hot or cool air stays where it belongs, your home stays comfortable and your energy bills stay low.