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Insulating your attic is an investment that will continue to pay off every year for the lifetime of your home. Not only does it make a significant difference in your heating and cooling costs, but also you’ll notice the temperature in your home doesn’t rise and fall as fast. You’re essentially sealing in the top portion of your house, and that’s where most of the heat enters or escapes.
Why Insulating an Attic Keeps the Home Cooler
Most people understand that heat rises and know insulating the attic reduces heating bills in winter. However, it also lowers the cost to cool your home in the summer. Your attic bears the heavy burden of sunlight every day, and it heats up fast. By insulating it, you create a thick barrier between the heat and your ceiling. In this way, the heat can’t conduct itself into your living areas, and your living space won’t rise to as high of a temperature. Therefore, the air conditioner doesn’t need to run as long to bring the temperature back down to a comfortable level. That’s how insulation reduces your AC costs in the summer.
How Much to Insulate: R-Values and Thickness
If you’ve decided to insulate your attic, then your next question is probably, “How much do I need?” The government has strict policies about insulate ratings known as R-values. The R-value is a material’s ability to resist the transfer of heat. For example, fiberglass has an R-value of about R3 for one inch of material. Other materials may have more or less. If you needed a total insulating value of R30, then you would need 10 inches of fiberglass.
Energy Star Recommendations for Attic Insulating Thickness in Texas
Based on the EPA’s guidelines from Energy Star, homes in Texas need attic insulation between a level of R30 and R60. Normally, this results in 12 to 15 inches total. If you already have a three or four inches of insulating material, as many older homes do, then you can merely top it off by adding an additional 7 to 10 inches, which is equivalent to an additional R28 to R35. There is a point where you can over-insulate. Beyond the level of R60, you won’t realize much more benefit. You shouldn’t need more than 20 inches for most insulating materials.
How Much You Save on Energy Costs
In general, you’ll save more on heating than cooling. However, your cooling expenses make up half or more of your electric bill in summer. The average savings on cooling is between 10 and 20 percent. When you consider energy costs in the hundreds of dollars, you’ll save this money every year from the day you insulate.
Agee’s Air Conditioning and Heating
For more than 40 years, Agee’s Air Conditioning and Heating has been serving Universal City, San Antonio, Schertz, TX, and surrounding communities. If you’d like to inquire about professionally insulating your attic or if you would like to schedule a home performance evaluation, then give us a call today.