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Can Insulation Lower My Cooling Bill?

Published on: June 26, 2014
Feet relaxing on the beach | AC Southeast

Understanding your roofing system may help as you consider efforts for achieving greater air conditioning efficiency this summer. Your roofing system as a whole can make a dramatic difference in your home comfort costs because of the heat that is absorbed or reflected. However, it’s not just the exterior that you need to consider. Interior components like your attic and insulation affect your home’s cooling load as well, and knowing how to adjust your home insulation could lower your cooling bill this summer.

Supplementing Existing Insulation

If your attic currently has insulation in place, a simple visual inspection may be enough to determine if more is warranted. If you can see the floor joists of the attic, then you can supplement by adding more material. If the joists aren’t visible, then you don’t want to increase insulation levels as this could inhibit the ventilation needed in the space.

Insulation is engineered according to a measure known as R-Value, a reflection of the material’s resistance to heat penetrating and traveling through. Higher values represent a greater resistance to heat transfer, important for controlling both heating and cooling bills. A higher R-Value will produce better results in controlling your home’s heating and cooling loads, but it is important to recognize that more heat-resistant material may carry a higher price tag.

Problems with Excessive Insulation

Filling in your attic to the point of eliminating ventilation space can result in the overheating of the area along with overheating of your roofing system. This can result in a short lifespan for your roofing system. It can also lead to winter problems such as ice dams as snow falls, melts, and refreezes. Your comfort control system can suffer because an overheated roof and attic can result in overheated living space. If you are unsure of the level of insulation to add to your attic, consult an expert or hire a contractor to assist so that you don’t create problems.

Energy Performance Study

If you would like a thorough analysis of your home’s cooling performance and potential steps for curbing costs, consider enlisting the assistance of a Southeast U.S. home comfort expert. We can help you to locate a contractor serving your community.