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Before the Summer's Heat Hits, Check Your Attic Insulation's Effectiveness

March 28, 2011 | Blog

A lot of people think of insulation more as a way to keep their homes warm than to keep them cool. But did you ever notice how thick the lids are on portable coolers and ice chests? That’s because manufacturers know that’s where the sun hits most directly.

The same is true for your house, which makes your home’s attic insulation so important. The more insulation you have the longer it takes our Texas heat to travel through it, and the less heat that reaches your interior living space.
Traditionally, insulation has tiny air pockets that slow heat and cold transfer. Recent technology has produced reflective materials that act as a radiant barrier that can work with your insulation to reduce the heat in your attic. Generally speaking though, the Department of Energy recommends between R38 and R49 in our area.  That is between 15 and 18 inches thick. That, combined with good attic ventilation, keeps a home much cooler.

Do you know how much insulation is in your attic? Many homeowners have never checked. They simply trust that there is the correct amount. If your home was built in the 1990s or earlier, chances are your insulation is not sufficient.  If you can see the top of the ceiling joists in your attic then you do not have enough insulation and your utility use, quite literally, is going through the roof.

Adequate attic insulation, along with making sure cracks or openings in the ceiling are sealed and tight, can save you more than 20 percent off your cooling costs and has one of the fastest paybacks in energy savings.
Before another scorching summer hits, check your attic’s insulation. If it less than enough, contact us at CCAC. We can explain how adding more now can keep you cooler all summer — and save you money.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information, click here to download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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