Adding insulation isn’t something that should be left for your winterization to-do list. In addition to keeping you warm in winter, the right level of attic insulation keeps the Southwest Ohio summer heat from seeping into your air-conditioned living space. More insulation could cut your air conditioning bills by up to 15 percent.
Check Your Attic Insulation
If you’ve already got three or four inches of insulation, you’ll want to insulate to between R38 to R49 level. How deep your insulation should be to achieve these R levels depends on the insulation type. For R38 level, appropriate depths are:
- Fiberglass batts: 12 inches
- Loose-fill fiberglass: 14 to 17 inches
- Loose-fill cellulose: 10 to 12 inches
Check the depth in different parts of your attic. You may find there’s plenty of insulation around the access door, but not enough toward the edges or in the middle of the attic. Also check for deteriorated insulation. This no longer forms an effective heat barrier and should be replaced.
Your Options for Better Insulation
If your current levels suggest the need to add insulation, you have two main options.
- Batt insulation – These long sheets of insulation are available in fiberglass, cellulose and some more eco-friendly materials such as cotton from recycled jeans. If not carefully installed, batts may fail to fill in small crevices, leaving room for heat to escape.
- Loose-fill (blown-in) insulation – This comes as small chunks of material, usually fiberglass or cellulose. These small pieces more effectively fill in corners and crevices. Loose-fill insulation requires a blowing machine for installation, but can be added over batts.
Installation Quality Matters
The effectiveness of your home’s insulation depends on proper installation. A professional can help you decide which insulation best meets your needs and determine the ideal amount. A pro can also do the tricky job of adding insulation to fill in crevices sufficiently without blocking the critical sources of ventilation that protect your attic from mold and heat damage.
For an accurate assessment of your attic’s insulation levels and a reliable, professional installation job, consult with us at Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing in the Greater Cincinnati area.
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