If your HVAC system isn’t performing at the level you need it to, before jumping to replacement options take a look at the attic insulation in your home. Old or under performing insulation can result in a struggle to keep the air in your home conditioned. It can also put unnecessary strain on your HVAC system, causing potential problems with performance later on. So how can you determine if your attic insulation is part of the problem with keeping your home comfortable?
Why the Attic Matters
It might seem like your HVAC system and your attic have little to do with each other, but their relationship to one another is a key factor in maintaining the temperature in your home. Even with a high efficiency HVAC system, a poorly insulated attic will cause problems for both your home comfort and your energy bill. The potential for heat loss through your attic can be as high as 25% or more. This will affect you in both summer and winter months, and cause your HVAC system to work harder than it should to maintain a comfortable living space. Imagine trying to keep your house cool in the humid summer months while leaving a door wide open 24/7. This is kind of what it’s like when your attic isn’t insulated properly.
What to Consider
When you are looking to optimize your HVAC’s performance by addressing your attic, you may want to take a step back and consider what your specific needs are. There are several different types of insulation, and they are not all created equal. On top of that, there are different ways that heat builds up in your attic in the first place. Addressing what kind of heat you are dealing with will dictate what kind of insulation you need. Let’s look at how insulation is rated first.
Every insulation product comes along with an R-value, and understanding what that means will affect how well your insulation performs in your home. R-value basically measures insulation’s resistance to conductive heat flow. This is dictated by several factors such as material, thickness, and density. An insulation R-value is measured per square inch, and typically, the higher the R-value, the higher the cost of the material. Your recommended R-value will depend on what kind of heat you are dealing with at your specific property, which we’ll look at next.
Types of Heat
Before you go purchase the highest R-value insulation you can find, you might want to consider the kind of heat you are dealing with. There are four main ways that heat travels through your home, and it should be the main factor in how to properly insulate it.
- Air infiltration is air that gets in and out through open holes or cracks in your structure.
- Radiation is heat from electromagnetic waves and is a big factor in areas with warmer climates.
- Convection is more of a concern for those in colder climates as it addresses heat loss in your attic.
- Conduction is the process of heat moving through solid material which is where your investment in a higher R-value will definitely come into play.
Get a Consultation
It can be hard to know exactly what type of heat you are dealing with and what kind of insulation you need to enhance your HVAC system’s performance. Luckily, there are specialists available that are familiar with what is needed in your climate that can help guide you in your insulation purchase and installment. Call AirOne Heating & Air Conditioning, a San Marcos HVAC provider, for assistance learning how to get the most out of your system!