Tag Archives: insulation

Where Do Different Types of Insulation Go?

Where Do Different Types of Insulation Go?The insulation in your home acts as its primary defense against temperature change. Depending on its structure, it may have just one or two types, but if you need to add more, you may have more choices appropriate for the exact places where you need it.

Batts

Rolled fiberglass batts are the most common type of insulating materials used in new home construction because they’re effective, affordable and easy to install. Recycled denim and rock wool (also known as mineral wool) batts are also available. Rock wool is made by melting rocks.

  • In new construction, batts are used in attics, walls and basement or crawl space ceilings. They’re used in existing homes to insulate attics and unfinished ceilings.

Loose

Cellulose, rock wool and fiberglass are the most common blown-in types of insulating materials. Cellulose is made from recycled newspapers and treated with borates to prevent insect invasions, repel moisture and retard fire. Of the types of loose insulation, cellulose is the heaviest and tends to pack down.

  • Loose products are used in new construction in attics and walls. They can be used in existing homes in attics and blown into existing walls using a hole saw and blower. It’s possible to blow loose products over batts in attics.

Foam

Synthetic foam products are available as sprayed-on or rigid foam sheets. They cost more than other insulating materials, but provide more protection against thermal transfer. Sprayed foams are normally applied by professionals since they require special equipment and chemicals. Rigid foam sheets are easy to cut and install in wall cavities or between ceiling joists. Kits are also available to insulate garage doors.

  • Sprayed foams are used in small, tight spaces in attics and walls. They are often used on the ceilings for retrofit attic spaces and in existing walls. They are sometimes used to coat flat roofs, or on the roof decking for vaulted ceilings.

Each of these insulation products will help you retard heat transfer in and out of your home. To learn more, contact Powers Heating & Air, providing trusted HVAC services for Peachtree City homeowners.

 

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040. 

When Temperatures Drop, Bundle Up Your Water Heater

When Temperatures Drop, Bundle Up Your Water HeaterThe most ignored appliance in many homes is the water heater because it’s tucked out of sight, operates silently and seldom fails. It’s also the second-most hungry appliance in the typical home, using around 20 percent of all energy consumed in a year. Wrapping it with an insulating blanket will cut its energy consumption and prolong its lifetime.

 

These blankets, found at home improvement centers, cost little compared to the energy savings they offer. Older storage tank water heaters may not have enough insulation wrapped around the tank to prevent the heat from the water from seeping out, and in the winter, those standby losses increase. Consequently, it uses more energy.

Detecting Standby Losses

Place your hand on the outside of the tank. If it feels warm to you, chances are, it lacks insulation. A hand-held infrared digital thermometer will also tell you how much warmer the tank’s shell is than the air temperature.

Selecting a Blanket

Before purchasing an insulating wrap, measure the water heater’s height, circumference and note its size in gallons. Determine whether it’s gas or electric. If yours is gas, you may want to ask a plumber or HVAC technician to install it for you, since gas water heaters have specific requirements for installation that keep them safe.

Installing the Blanket

You can trim an oversize blanket for a precise fit. Follow the directions carefully and make sure you don’t cover the thermostat for the water heater. Turn the thermostat down to 120 degrees to prevent the wiring from overheating.

 

Lowering the temperature also reduces the amount of dissolved solids that form at the bottom of the tank, which extends its lifetime and reduces scalding injuries. You might want to choose the heat setting on your dishwasher if it has that option to bring the temperature back to 140 degrees when you wash a load.

 

It’s relatively easy and inexpensive to improve the efficiency of your water heater. If you’d like to learn more, contact Powers Heating & Air, providing HVAC services for Peachtree City homeowners.

 

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “geralt/Pixabay”

Helpful Tips for Checking Insulation Levels in Your Home

Helpful Tips for Checking Insulation Levels in Your HomeAs the summer heat leaves your attic, it’s a good time to check its insulation level. Nothing affects the cost of maintaining your comfort year-round as much your attic. Improving the level is one of the most cost-effective and durable ways to enhance the energy efficiency of your home, and fall and winter are the ideal times to do it.

Inspecting the Attic

Dress appropriately for the visit to the attic. Wear a washable long-sleeved shirt and pants, and don a dust mask. The existing insulation in the attic and the dust that settle up there are respiratory irritants. If your home is older, check it for vermiculite insulation that may contain asbestos. You may need to have a contractor test it first for safety because asbestos is a known carcinogen.

Use a ruler or rigid tape measure to measure the levels. If you can see the tops of the joists at first glance, you need more. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends that homes in this climate have an insulation level of at least 10 inches of loose or batt insulation in the attic, and up to 20 inches.

If your attic doesn’t have a sturdy floor, lay planks or a sheet of plywood across the joists to walk through it. Look over the condition of the insulation throughout the entire attic to make sure it’s distributed evenly, not compressed, and no mold is present.

Looking for Leaks

As you explore the attic, you may see cracks and gaps around the vents, pipes, flues, wires, or recessed lighting fixtures that exit into the attic. Your HVAC system’s ductwork may also run through this area, and excessively dusty deposits near any part of it could signal ductwork leakage. Cracks and ductwork leaks drive up energy bills and should be sealed by an HVAC contractor.

After checking the insulation level, you’ll know whether it needs improvement. The next step is to contact Powers Heating & Air, serving Peachtree City homeowners, to learn more about increasing it and sealing the air leaks for greater home energy efficiency.

 

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “john-kasawa/Shutterstock”

The Best Spots to Insulate in Your Home

The Best Spots to Insulate in Your HomeEven in a moderate climate like Peachtree City’s, improving your insulation is an effective way to keep your home more a comfortable temperature all year. Learning the best areas to insulate before you start will help you get the most out of your efforts.

Attic

The sun shining down on your roof can raise your attic temperature to over 100 degrees even on mildly warm days. That heat then radiates into your rooms, increasing the load on your air conditioner. In winter, the warmth from your heating system naturally rises and can slip away into your attic and out through your roof.

 

Air sealing and adding insulation to your attic reduces this type of energy loss. In the Peachtree City area, an attic should have an R30 to R60 layer of insulation, which is at least 9 inches of fiberglass batts.

 

Laying batt insulation is a simple DIY job. While loose-fill (blown-in) insulation is somewhat more efficient because it fills in small crevices, you’ll need a blower machine to install it.

Ducts

Insulation on your air ducts helps maintain the temperature of the air inside so it’s the right temperature when it reaches your rooms. If the ducts in unconditioned spaces, such as the attic, aren’t well insulated, they can lose or gain heat from the surrounding air. Adding an R-6 layer of duct wrap or batt insulation reduces this loss. First, though, make sure the duct joints are correctly air sealed.

Walls

Your exterior walls are also among the most important areas to insulate. If you’re planning on replacing your siding, consider installing an R-5 layer of insulative sheathing under it. Otherwise, adding loose-fill insulation is the easiest way to increase the energy efficiency of your walls. This type of insulation can be added through a relatively small hole, so your walls won’t have to be torn out.

Basement

For another simple way to boost your home’s efficiency, insulate your rim joists using rigid foam insulation and caulk.

 

Want more tips on identifying the best areas to insulate? Contact us at Powers Heating & Air in Peachtree City.

 

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “io-images/Pixabay”

Saving Energy With Window Treatments for Your Home

Saving Energy With Window Treatments for Your HomeWindows are a focal point of your Peachtree City home that add beauty and personality. Though, your windows are huge contributors to heat gain/loss that result in higher energy bills and greater HVAC wear. If you would like your home to be more energy efficient, but you don’t want unsightly windows, use these tips to see how the right window treatments can improve your home’s aesthetics and lower your energy bills.

Visible Benefits

Your home’s envelope consists of the materials and systems that separate your conditioned spaces from extreme temperatures. You surely know that a well insulated attic and sound walls makes your home more comfortable and efficient, but did you realize you can recoup your investment with window treatments in these ways?

  • Substantially reduce your cooling and heating bills by blocking window heat gain/loss.
  • Many window treatments reduce outside noise giving you more peace and quiet.
  • Protect your furnishings and walls from harmful UV rays.

Interior Treatments

  • Interior solar screens: Solar screens are available in a wide variety of colors, sizes and visibility percentages. They are easy to adjust and may allow heat gain on cooler days.
  • Window film: Window films reduce the amount of sunlight and heat gain. Unlike adjustable solar screens, however, you can’t reduce or increase the amount of sunlight streaming into your home.
  • Insulated curtains: If updating your curtains is your cup of tea, consider layering your curtains and using insulated types that help reduce heat gain/loss.

Outdoor Treatments

  • Exterior solar screens: Solar screens may also be installed outside your home. They are popular additions to outdoor living spaces, too!
  • Awnings: Want it made in the shade without obstructing your window views? Then awnings consider awnings for adding an extra touch of charm to sun-struck windows — and up to 75 percent reduction in heat gain!
  • Storm panels: Like solar screens, storm panels may be installed inside or outside your home. As their name indicates, storm panels also protect your windows from wind-driven storms.

To learn more about saving energy and your options of window treatments, contact Powers Heating & Air today!

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Unsplash/Pixabay”