If you’re looking for an effective way to improve your home’s energy efficiency and save on heating and cooling costs, you’ll likely hear that adding insulation can help. Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about insulation that can negatively affect your energy savings. Here, we’ll debunk a few of the most common insulation myths.
Myth: Insulation Is Only Needed in Cold Climates
In the Panhandle’s climate, properly insulating a home’s walls and attic can provide significant energy savings all year long. In the winter when the temperatures can dip down to freezing at night, installing sufficient wall and attic insulation can significantly lower heating costs. During the hot summer months, having ample insulation installed on the attic floor can cut your home cooling costs.
Myth: Insulation Can Prevent Air Leaks
Although the amount of movement through insulation can vary depending on the type used, insulation is made to block heat transfer, not air movement. Weatherizing doors and windows and sealing penetrations through the building envelope first is essential to get the maximum energy savings from insulating.
Myth: Insulating the Attic Worsens Heat Gain
Insulating one area like the attic doesn’t worsen energy losses in other areas of a home. To see the greatest benefit, you need to insulate different areas of the home to the Department of Energy’s recommended R-values. Walls should be insulated to R-13, floors to R-30 and the attic to R-49.
Myth: Packing Down Fiberglass Insulation Can Increase Its R-Value
The air pockets in fiberglass batt insulation contribute to its R-value. When its compressed, the amount of trapped air drops and so does the insulation’s R-value.
Myth: Blown-in Cellulose Wall Insulation Always Settles
The dense-packed cellulose insulation used today is blown in at twice the material’s settled density. This keeps the insulation under a slight amount of pressure once it’s installed and prevents it from settling.
For expert help debunking any other insulation myths you may hear, contact the Amarillo area home comfort pros at Amarillo Air Conditioning.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Amarillo, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about insulation and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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