Could Attic Insulation Be Your Solution to a Cool Summer?
May 5, 2020
As an Arizona resident, you know that keeping your air conditioning running is so important. You also understand that the kind of cooling you get inside the house depends on the system. What you may not know is that it also depends on the house. Understanding the types of insulation and how much you need can save you a lot on your energy bills, not to mention cut the cost of AC repairs.
If you have the wrong kind of insulation, or not enough, you might be losing tons of conditioned air before you ever get a chance to enjoy it. Although insulation in the walls and floor is certainly important, attic insulation is the first one you need to fix. With these tips from the experts at Precision Air & Plumbing, you’ll understand the benefits of attic insulation and why you’re better off getting it done by us.
Benefits of Attic Insulation
Most people might think of insulation as something you really only need in a cold climate, but this isn’t true. Sure, you have walls, doors, windows and a roof to keep that cool air inside a bit longer, but air can pass through the tiniest gaps. Insulation is what stands between you and the shocking heat of an Arizona summer. It’s the basic principle of heat transfer. Warm air wants to move. In the hottest part of the year, that means it wants to move indoors. Insulation is the best way to slow that process.
If you have the right amount of insulation for your home and you’ve sealed all the air leaks in your roof and around your doors and windows, you’ll notice a big difference. A simple investment in your attic insulation can:
- Cut down on your AC’s cooling load, which can keep it in better shape longer
- Solve temperature variations throughout your home
- Ensure better temperature regulation, even at the hottest time of the day
- Lower your utility bills
With all these advantages, we at Precision Air & Plumbing think there’s little reason not to consider adding more insulation.
How to Determine When You Need More Insulation
Not sure if you need more insulation? There’s a pretty easy way to tell. If your home was built in the past year or two, you might not need it. If it’s older than that, there’s a high chance you could benefit from adding more. Keep in mind that putting in more attic insulation isn’t just about fixing problems like stuffy rooms or an attic so hot it could roast a chicken. Since it isn’t a huge home improvement project, your decision should start with what you can get from the investment. You can tell it’s time to upgrade if:
- You have spots in the home that are uncomfortably hot
- You can’t seem to get second-floor rooms cool enough
- Your home is a few decades old (or older)
- You have no idea what the insulation looks like or how much you have
Determining what to do next is the right time to call us at Precision Air & Plumbing.
Types of Insulation
Choosing the best insulation starts with a discussion of the various types, including:
- Batts or blankets, which unroll in a consistent layer
- Loose fill, which looks a little like popcorn or cotton balls
- Spray foam, which gets blown in by a sprayer
- Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs), which contain rigid foam insulation attached to a board
You’ve probably seen insulation made out of fiberglass or rockwool. You can also get it in cellulose, polyurethane, and natural cotton. The right types of insulation for your home depend on a variety of factors, including how much you want to spend and who’s doing the installation.
Attic Insulation Cost
Anytime you start planning a home improvement project, you’ve got to think about the cost. The good news is that this one generally won’t break the bank. At around $1,000 to $2,000, you may recoup most or all of it in a higher home value. Of course, this depends on the size of your home and the type of insulation you’re planning to get, as well as the amount you need. As a general rule, an uninsulated attic is going to cost more than one that already has some.
How Much Do You Need?
Are you ready for some math? No? We at Precision Air & Plumbing can take care of figuring out how much you need to add in insulation. Still, it’s good to get a basic grasp of the facts. Insulation is measured in R-value. You can probably imagine that something like carpet provides better insulation than a thin layer of vinyl, and insulation types work similarly. Each product gives a certain R-value, usually by the inch or centimeter.
The U.S. Department of Energy sets recommendations for attic insulation based on where you live. For Phoenix, that’s an R-49. You usually have to put in several layers to meet the total. For example, if you need an R-60 and the insulation you want is R-15, you’ll need four layers of it to reach that number.
Is Attic Insulation Difficult to Install?
You might think that this is a fun weekend project that practically anyone can do on their own. And if you do, we have news for you: It’s harder than it looks. The good news is that you probably don’t have to pull down or clear out your existing insulation in order to add more. The bad news is that if you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s a messy project with lots of confusing twists and turns. In fact, the easier it seems to put in, like loose fill or spray foam, the harder it can be to do it right.
For a small project, why deal with all the aggravation? If you schedule attic insulation service with us at Precision Air & Plumbing, we can evaluate what you need, make recommendations on the type with the best performance for your home and budget, and complete installation in much less time than it would take you to DIY. All you have to do is enjoy better cooling at a lower price.
Attic insulation is something that’s easy to forget about, but it plays a big role in your AC efficiency. Schedule an appointment to find out how improving your attic insulation could make your whole year more enjoyable.