HVAC Efficiency Concerns: Insulation

HVAC Efficiency Concerns: InsulationIt’s impossible to overestimate the value of adequate insulation to HVAC efficiency. High energy bills might be the result of an aging or problematic HVAC system or simply inadequate insulation in the home.

It’s easy to find out if there isn’t enough insulation in your home by inspecting the attic, looking inside the walls and in the basement. Besides the amount, its condition also affects its effectiveness. If it’s moldy or damp, it won’t work as well.

Each inch of fiberglass batt or loose insulation has an ability to resist temperature change for about three hours. Frame homes built with 2 x 4s have R-13 batts in the walls, which gives them 13 hours of protection from temperature change. An attic with 16 inches in the attic will have an R-value around 38.

Inspecting Your Home

As you visit the attic, check both the insulation level and its appearance. A moldy or musty smell indicates wet insulation, as well as blackened areas. There should be at least 16 inches and preferably 20 inches in the attic to cut energy bills.

Wall insulation is more difficult to assess, but it’s possible by taking off an electrical outlet cover on an exterior wall and looking carefully inside the wall cavity. Be sure to turn off the circuit breakers before removing the covers. Check outlets on a few different walls. Sometimes builders inadvertently miss insulating a wall.

Basements should have insulated walls or ceilings to prevent cold air from seeping into your home. Ducts that run through uninsulated spaces should be wrapped with insulating blankets to increase HVAC efficiency.

Increasing Insulation

Experienced DIYers might be able to install attic insulation but increasing wall insulation requires special tools and skills. Your HVAC professional can easily insulate the ductwork after sealing their leaks.

Increasing insulation in your home is an affordable and durable way to boost HVAC efficiency. For more information, contact Geisel Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, serving Cleveland-area homeowners.