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A Guide to Home Insulation Basics in Dalton GA

Published on: June 22, 2012

One of the single largest household expenses for an average American family is the energy bill. Lighting can certainly gobble up a significant chunk, especially if you’re not up-to-date with the latest protocols of energy regulation. However, HVAC systems are responsible for 45% of energy consumption, which can vary drastically throughout the year. Not only can poor insulation make expenses much worse, but AC service bills tend to skyrocket during the summer months when these units have to make up for lax insulation.

Insulation Basics in Dalton GA
Proper insulation, as well as insulation throughout the entire house, is one of the most important factors in reducing energy costs. Insufficient insulation, especially attic insulation, allows precious heating and cooling energy to seep through the ceiling and walls. To prevent this from happening and keep energy costs down, you need to insulate the entire living area with the proper amount of material.

Not only can proper insulation significantly reduce your energy bill, but poor insulation puts more strain on your heating and cooling system or air conditioner. Resolving your home’s insulation flaws will give your air conditioner a break from working so hard, which means you’ll save both energy and money.

Types of Insulation
The selection of insulation materials all have R-values, and are categorized based on resistance to heat as it passes through it. There is variety of insulation materials to choose from, such as:

• Fiberglass
• Vermiculite
• Perlite
• Rock wool
• Polystyrene
• Cellulose
• Polyurethane

Each of these types of insulation material has a different R-value. The higher the numerical R-value indicates the greater the material’s insulating qualities are and its ability to retard the flow of heat. A value of R-38 is the minimum recommendation for attic insulation according to most U.S. building codes, and is about ten to twelve inches of fiberglass or cellulose fiber insulation. The maximum value for attic insulation could be as high as R-50.

The R-values really depend on the particular environment the materials are insulating, the local climate and building codes, and ease of installation and flammability. The ideal selection does not necessarily mean choosing the material with the highest R-value.

Where to Insulate
An air conditioning service technician will probably suggest that attic insulation is first priority because it’s probably the easiest and most practical space to insulate. Since heat rises, the attic is where a good deal of heat ultimately escapes. In the summer, a poorly insulated attic becomes a virtual heat collector and trap. In contrast, during the winter, most of the indoor environment’s heat loss occurs through the attic.

After attic insulation, the goal is to envelop your entire living space with an adequate amount of insulating material. Windows should probably be the next household item on the list. Windows can potentially account for more than one quarter of heat loss in a living environment. Insulation of windows can vary in expense and ease of application, which can include energy panels, weather stripping or polyurethane foam products. Drapes are also beneficial when it comes to insulation, especially for extra warmth.

Doors can also be insulated with weather stripping materials, or a storm door can be installed for ultra-insulation assurance. Chimneys can be sealed off with a glass door, a better vent damper or even a chimney balloon. Older buildings often give you access from the attic to the openings between the wall studs, where loose-fill insulation can be poured, just as long as there are no open gaps at the bottom. If your home isn’t constructed this way, insulating the wall space can be a bit tricky and might require a professional.

Professional Insulation
Many air conditioning service contractors understand that insulation is a key component to energy efficiency and savings, so they also provide an insulation upgrade service. Proper insulation can be a much less expensive alternative to replacing your HVAC equipment, as well as provide you with a federal tax credit. Typical air conditioning service should include:

• Thorough inspection of the insulation status
• After evaluation, recommendation for the most energy efficient and cost effective upgrade
• Free insulation solution estimates
• Application of these solutions wherever necessary

Even having one of the most state-of-the-art HVAC systems that money can buy will only be as effective as your insulation. Energy costs continue to rise and unfortunately for some, cutting back on HVAC system use might not be an option due to the harsh climate. Cutting costs should start with adequate attic insulation and then everything else should follow. Knowing the insulation basics in Dalton GA is the key to a relatively inexpensive energy efficiency solution and remains one of your best upgrade values.