According to Energy Star’s website, most homes have enough holes, gaps, and leaks that the air loss is equal to leaving a window open all day and all night. Combine that with the fact that many older homes like the ones we see in Oklahoma City and Edmond have insulation that is inefficient and insufficient—can you imagine how much energy is being lost that way?
If your utility bills seem too high, it’s likely that your insulation is contributing to that issue. One of the main reasons we find that customers purchase high-end heating and air conditioning equipment is to save money on utilities. But if you aren’t addressing your home’s insulation too, you could still be losing money!
Do you have enough insulation?
Determining if you have an insulation issue is outside of many people’s comfort zones, but there are a couple of things you can do to see if what you have is doing its job.
You can request a home energy audit from your utility company—if they don’t offer the service, they’ll be able to recommend you to someone who does. Often, they’ll perform the services themselves and it may not even cost you anything above your monthly bill.
Alternatively, you can check in your attic to see if your insulation is sufficient. To upgrade or install insulation, you’ll need to fix air leaks first. Can you see daylight in your attic? That means you have an air leak. Fixing that will help your HVAC unit work more efficiently.
3 main types of insulation
If you decide you do need insulation, here are the three main types you’ll come across.
1. Batts or blankets: You usually see this type rolled up. It’s made out of fiberglass (so you don’t want to touch it with your bare hands!) and is usually pink. It’s often used in walls.
2. Loose-fitting fiberglass: Instead of being packed into a batt, it’s loose fiberglass. You’ll usually find this in attics.
3. Spray-in foam: This is more commonly used in newer homes. It seals more completely than the other two types, so special ventilation is required.
Sufficient and efficient
It’s important to have enough insulation for your home. But it’s also important that the insulation you have is efficient. That’s measured by the R-value of insulation, which measures the resistance to heat flow through a given thickness of material.
While the R-value shouldn’t be your only consideration when choosing insulation, it does give you an idea of the efficiency potential of any given insulation.
Want to learn more about insulation for your home? Check out Houselogic’s take on insulation for more information!