Insulating your attic creates an added barrier between the roof, which bears the burden of heat from the sun, and your living space. However, the barrier works both ways. Not only does it keep exterior heat out, but also it works to prevent interior cool air from escaping. The bottom line is that you’ll see a reduction in your monthly energy bill because your home traps in cool air longer.
How Insulating Materials Cool Homes
The first way insulating material cools a home is by not letting it get too hot in the first place. The barrier keeps heat from the sun from penetrating deeper into the house. With an already cooler temperature, the air conditioner doesn’t need to work as much to cool the house down. However, insulating the attic also prevents cool air from escaping because it reduces the movement of air, also called convection. Overall, the average home can save 10 percent on cooling by insulating the attic.
Strength and Thickness
The ability of a material to resist heat transfer is known as the R-value. In this way, you can compare different types of materials to see how strongly they insulate. As the thickness of the insulating material increases, you add up the R-values. Thus, doubling up a layer of material rated at R3 would yield a total value of R6. When you think about it practically, you know that thicker clothing will keep in more of your body heat. Insulating materials work the same way.
Recommended Insulation Thickness for Attics in Florida
For areas near Tampa, the R-Values recommended by the U.S. Dept. of Energy are between R30 and R60 for attics. This is the overall level for attics with no insulating material to start. However, if the attic already has three to four inches of insulating material, then it’s advantageous to add an additional level between R25 to R38. With a greater thickness, you keep more cool air inside and hot air out. However, a thickness beyond R60 reaches a point of diminishing returns. Your home will enjoy better heating and cooling, but you won’t get enough of a difference to justify the extra expense.
Savings on Energy Bills
Heating and cooling makes up nearly half of your energy bill. These numbers tend to become even higher in hot Florida summers. While insulating material won’t drastically cut your energy bill the same as installing a new energy efficient system, you can expect it to cut your cost by about 10 percent. Likewise, you’ll generally find that you need heating and air conditioning less often because your home will naturally resist outside weather changes better. Think of it as wrapping your entire home in a warm blanket.
Senica Air Conditioning, Inc.
For 20 years, Senica Air Conditioning, Inc. has been serving Spring Hill and Tampa, FL, and surrounding communities. If you’d like to get a professional estimate on upgrading or installing attic insulating material, then give us a call today.