Your attic is one of the most important places to have adequate insulation. Most roofing materials absorb a lot of heat from sunlight so attics can be much hotter than the outdoor air. This causes parts of your home's structure to become warm. Heat radiating from ceilings under the attic will force your air conditioner to work harder to keep your home comfortable. Additionally, homes generally are not airtight, so ensuring that your attic insulation is adequate will also help keep warm air from leaking in and cool air from leaking out.
Conveniently, it's much easier to add insulation to the attic than many other areas of your home. You can improve the attic insulation with loose-fill or batt insulation regardless of what's currently in place. The only caveat is that additional batt insulation cannot have a foil or paper (also called vapor barriers) backing on it. Since loose-fill insulation must be installed with a blowing machine, batt insulation is generally the easiest for a homeowner to install, but can be harder to fit into tight or irregularly-shaped spaces.
After a certain point, adding further insulation isn't cost effective. The ability of insulation to prevent heat transfer is measured by its R-value. Attics are generally recommended to be insulated to at least R-38, but due to the additional role your attic insulation will play in keeping heat from escaping your home in the winter, you may want to insulate to R-49 or higher. How much insulation you need to achieve this will depend on the type you use.
Ideally, ductwork should not be run through uninsulated areas, but if you have ductwork running through your attic, make sure that it has adequate insulation as well. This will limit how much the air running through the ducts is warmed before it's delivered into your home.
If you want assistance improving your attic insulation or with any other home energy efficiency improvements, contact the experts at P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling. We've satisfied the home comfort needs of greater Cleveland area homeowners with superior service since 1936.Follow @PKwadsworth
Paul Wadsworth is the President and Owner of P.K. Wadsworth Heating and Cooling. For 37 years, Paul has been providing heating and cooling services to the Greater Cleveland area. P.K. Wadsworth has been a trusted Cleveland HVAC service company for over 75 years. The company understand the area's construction and local heating and air conditioning needs. Paul has an MBA from the University of Michigan and a B.S., Industrial Engineering from Purdue University. Paul is the Chairman of COSE's Energy Advisory Council. He's been President of the Cleveland Air Conditioning Contractors of America and a founding member of the local chapter. Paul was born and raised in Cleveland and has been active in the local community. He resides in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife and two sons.
The opinions and statements contained in this article are for general informational purposes only and are not instructions. Only trained, licensed and experienced personnel should attempt installation/repair. The author assumes no liability for the opinions/statements made in this article. Any individual attempting a repair or installation based on this article does so at their own risk of loss.