Tag Archives: insulation

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.

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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.

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Radiant Barriers in the Attic Can Prevent Heat and Humidity

Radiant Barriers in the Attic Can Prevent Heat and HumidityA radiant barrier keeps your house cooler by keeping radiant heat out of your attic. A major source of household heat infiltration is often the overheated attic just the other side of your ceiling.

 

Temperatures inside an enclosed attic increase on a sunny summer day as solar heat penetrates the roof and heats air trapped in the attic. Attic temperatures can soar as high as 150 degrees. This reservoir of heat radiates through the ceiling into cooler living spaces. The influence of attic heat can raise temperatures in rooms directly below by as much as 10 degrees. This, in turn, causes your air conditioner to run longer cycles to maintain thermostat settings, increasing your monthly cooling costs.

 

Attic insulation helps impede attic heat passing through the ceiling. However, insulation can’t prevent radiant heat from over-heating the attic in the first place. A radiant barrier is a foil-coated material typically stapled to roof joists within a few inches of the underside of the roof. Alternatively, the material may be draped across the joists in the floor of the attic, atop existing insulation. Radiant energy entering through the roof is reflected back into the roof sheathing and then re-radiates to the exterior. This helps moderate attic temperatures.

 

In addition to reducing the attic heat load, a radiant barrier benefits your household comfort and efficiency in two other ways:

  • Insulation performs more effectively when it is kept cooler. Utilizing a radiation barrier to reduce the air temperature inside the attic helps your existing attic insulation do a better job of reducing heat transfer through the ceiling.
  • Moderating attic temperatures by blocking radiant energy infiltration also reduces condensation produced when an overheated attic cools at night. Condensation soaking attic insulation substantially reduces its insulating value, allowing more heat to infiltrate living spaces through the ceiling.

Contact the professionals at Powers Heating & Air for more about the benefits of a radiant barrier to keep your attic cooler and reduce household heat gain.

 

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 TOPIC and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.

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This is Why Insulation is Important in the Summer Months

This is Why Insulation is Important in the Summer MonthsOne of the most common misconceptions in home efficiency is that insulation is designed to keep your home warm and comfortable during the winter. This is only a half-truth. Insulating materials keep your home comfortable and efficient during the summer months, too!

Why Insulation is Important Year-Round

To be more specific, insulating materials are designed to keep heat in its place, rather than acting as a warming material like a blanket. Heat energy naturally seeks to move from a warmer to a cooler place. Unfortunately, this works against home efficiency and comfort all year long.

When outside temperatures are warmer during the summer, outside heat seeks the coolness of your home through any crack, leak or inadequate insulation that’s accessible. On cooler winter days, the heat inside your home uses these same efficiency gaps in your home’s envelope to move outside.

In the end, the greater the heat movement, the more you run your HVAC system and the higher your energy bills will be. It’s as simple as that.

Insulating Your Energy Budget

Installing or augmenting insulating materials in your home carries so many benefits for such a practical efficiency upgrade. Just touch the windows and walls on sun-facing rooms and see how much warmer they are compared to the north- and east-facing rooms.

If you have two or more floors of living space, you are already familiar with heat’s nature to rise, which makes it more expensive to keep upstairs rooms comfortable. By installing more insulation in your attic and walls where it’s needed, you can save energy and make your home more comfortable. Use these tips to determine if you need a home efficiency boost:

  • Contact your HVAC pro to conduct an energy audit of your home to reveal air leaks and inadequate insulating materials.
  • Seal up air leaks with the appropriate materials, such as caulk, weatherstripping and spray-in foam.
  • Install insulating materials in your attic and walls (spray-in foam) to maximize comfort and efficiency.

For more information about home insulation, comfort and energy savings in your Peachtree City home, contact the pros at 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 insulation and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.

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