Properly insulating a home is a critical part of lowering operating costs and increasing indoor comfort. Up north, the balance of household energy expenditure tips toward heating while here in South Texas we naturally spend more on cooling. Insulation performs the same function wherever it’s installed: It slows down the movement of heat. Homes in Corpus Christi can be insulated more effectively when we focus on keeping heat from solar radiation out of the house while holding cool, conditioned air in.
Here are five tips to insulating a home for our unique climate:
- Reject heat — Solar heat enters by radiating through the roof. Radiant barrier applied to the underside of the roof reflects heat energy back out and keeps the attic cooler, reducing heat transfer into the house.
- On the attic floor, the Department of Energy recommends a minimum R-value of 30 — This translates to 10 inches of fiberglass or eight inches of cellulose loose fill. Where existing insulation is insufficient, it may be upgraded by adding additional layers on top.
- Close the leaks — In our climate, cracks and gaps in the structure allow heat to flow in and cold air to escape. Look for openings that admit hot attic air through the ceiling around light fixtures, vent pipes and along wall joints. Seal these openings with caulking. Down lower, seal windows and doors with weatherstripping to keep air conditioned coolness from seeping out.
- Remember the ducts — Insulate ductwork that passes through hot zones like the attic to protect cool air from heat gain as it is conveyed through the ducts. Have ductwork pressure-tested for leakage and sealed.
- Get professional advice — A trained HVAC technician can check your level and quality of insulation, test the air-tightness of the structure and assess the condition of ductwork. The results of a professional energy evaluation helps target areas that require more attention and suggest insulation upgrades and other options to increase efficiency.
At CCAC, Inc. we’re constantly concerned about our customers in Corpus Christi and surrounding communities. Ask us for more advice about insulating a home for the south Texas climate.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about home insulation and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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