One of the most effective things you can do to improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling system is to install adequate insulation throughout your house. Use this brief guide to help you decide on the best type of insulation and installation location.
Where To Install?
Adding insulation anywhere in your home will improve energy efficiency and interior comfort. However, increased insulation will be especially effective in your attic, basement, crawl spaces, exterior walls and along the ductwork in your heating or cooling system.
The effectiveness of insulation is measured by its R-value. This numerical rating indicates the insulation’s thermal resistance, which is how well it resists heat flow. The higher the R-value, the more effective the insulation.
In the Kansas City area, for example, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends using insulation with an R-value of R-38 to R-60 for attics, R-13 to R-15 for wall cavities and R-25 to R-30 for floors.
- Blanket, including batts and rolls: Made of fiberglass, mineral wool and plastic or natural fibers. Used in unfinished walls, floors and ceilings. Installed between wall and ceiling joists, studs and wall beams.
- Rigid foam board: Made of polystyrene or polyurethane. Installed in unfinished walls, floors, ceilings and roofs. Often applied to the outside of ductwork systems.
- Loose fill: Pellets made of cellulose, fiberglass or mineral wool. Blown into place using specialized equipment. Most often used to fill cavities in walls, unfinished floors and places that are otherwise difficult to reach with traditional insulation.
- Spray foam and foam-in-place: Polyurethane or other plastic-type foam. Sprayed into place from small pressurized cans or from larger specialized sprayers. Used most often to fill wall cavities and unfinished floors and to seal pipe joints and connections.
For answers to your questions about adding insulation and how to insulate your home to achieve the best level of energy efficiency, contact us at Overland Park Heating & Cooling. Since 1983, we have provided reliable residential, commercial and industrial heating and cooling services to customers in Overland Park, Johnson County and the greater Kansas City area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about how adding insulation can boost efficiency and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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