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Have Enough Attic Insulation for Comfort This Summer?

Your home’s exterior — the roof, walls, and foundation — are just as important to your comfort as your HVAC system. Most people think that they can just turn on the AC. While that is true to an extent, running your AC costs money, and that extra wear and tear can necessitate a Spring air conditioning repair sooner rather than later. Insulating your home properly is a far more affordable alternative, and it could just save your air conditioner this summer! Regardless, your bank account will thank you and this will reduce the need for a Spring AC repair.

Staying Cool Without the AC

Do your energy bills shoot up to $300 or $400 a month in July and August? They should increase a bit, but if they double or triple during the summer, your air conditioner is doing all of the work. Here is a simple test: turn off the AC when you wake up in the morning. If your home’s indoor temperature noticeably increases within an hour, you need more insulation.

Physical Inspection

If you feel that your home needs more attic insulation, the next step is to pop up into your attic to take a peek. Homes built in the past few decades should have a decent amount of insulation, but homes built before the 1990s tend to be hit-or-miss. Just make sure to wear a dust mask when you climb up there.

Most of the time, taking a quick peek from the attic’s access point is enough to judge whether the insulation is adequate. Otherwise, use a tape measure to figure out the insulation depth.

Types of Insulation

There are different types of attic insulation. Fiberglass batt or roll attic insulation is what most people think of when they imagine home insulation. It’s the pink stuff that comes in a big roll and makes you itchy when you touch it. Fiberglass insulation has an r-value, which measures how well it blocks heat, of about 3.7 per inch of depth. To get a bare-minimum r-value of 30 for attics, you will need about 9 inches of fiberglass insulation. An r-value of 60 is better, but you will need about a foot and a half of this type of insulation.

Blow-in or loose fill insulation offers a similar r-value at an affordable price but is far easier to install. Loose fill insulation can be made from cellulose, fiberglass, or other materials.

Foam insulation comes in two forms: open- and closed-cell. Open-cell foam also has an r-value of about 3.7 per inch, but closed-cell is nearly twice as effective with an r-value of about 6.5 per inch. If space is limited, closed-cell foam is the way to go, but you will end up paying a premium.

Adding insulation is just as important as keeping your air conditioner running smoothly. Need a Spring AC repair to stay cool this summer? Check out our Spring AC services and call Air Depot at 281-477-3700 to schedule a service call today.

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