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How Much Insulation Do I Need?

October 8, 2019

How Insulation Works

Every attic needs insulation. Insulation helps to regulate temperatures by slowing conductive and convective heat flow and controlling radiant heat.

Heat will always (attempt to) transfer from warmer areas to cooler areas until the temperature difference no longer exists.

Insulation provides resistance to this natural process. As you might expect, if you install more insulation, the resistance increases. When shopping for insulation, it's important to pay attention to the resistance value (R-Value), which rates insulation efficiency. The higher the resistance value, the more insulating properties it provides.

More on R-Value and Why it Matters

The R means resistance to heat flow. There are different recommendations of R-value depending upon where you live and what areas you want to insulate. The resistance value you need also depends upon the insulation you want to use, insulation density, and the desired thickness of the insulation. As the R-value of insulation climbs so does the price.This leads to a trade-off between the price for the insulation and how much will be saved during its life. This is a cost/benefit question that only you can answer. So, how much insulation do you need to insulate your home?It would be great if we could afford R-100 insulation throughout our homes. It, however, does not work that way because of limited resources and the way builders build homes. Builders frame most homes with 2 by 4’s, which only provide about 3 ½ inches for insulation.We are all limited by money, and extremely energy efficient homes cost a lot to build. That is the trade-off. Still, as the cost of energy rises, the additional costs for building an energy-efficient home do not seem as staggering.

Types of Insulation

Types of insulation differ and can be tailored to fit almost any space, such as around your water heater, attic, garages, and around windows. These types range from the insulation that we commonly see in our attic, to form boards and sleek foils.Where you need to install your insulation helps dictate what kind you need. Types of insulation range from blown-in insulation for your attic, to insulation batts, foam board insulation, vapor barriers, and spray foam insulation.Make sure to check the R-Rating on whatever you decide to purchase because more insulation power usually costs more.

Calculate How Much Insulation You Need

This depends on the area you need insulated. As a general guideline, attic insulation should be at least 12 inches deep. This includes whether you have blown-in insulation or roll insulation. However, remember that over time the blown-in insulation in your attic will settle, providing less insulation capability. Your walls need the maximum amount of insulation you can fit in the space.The space inside your walls needs filling with insulation from ceiling to floor. No gaps in the insulation should exist, and the insulation needs to fit snugly around electrical boxes, wires, ductwork, and plumbing.If you're ready to have blown-in insulation installed, contact Green Energy of San Antonio today.