This is Why Insulation is Important in the Summer, Too

August 23, 2016

That same insulation that keeps your home comfortable all winter works full-time in the summer, too. All insulating materials provide the means to resist heat transfer. Heat moves to cooler temperatures and there's no way to prevent it, but you can slow it by insulating the envelope of your home. Insulating materials are rated by their R-value per inch of thickness, and higher is better. Each inch of fiberglass has an R-value of 3, which means they resist heat transfer for 3 hours. Foam has higher R-values, starting 3.85 for rigid foam sheets, increasing to 6.5 for sprayed-in foam.

In the Attic

Homes in this region should have 16-20 inches of fiberglass batt or loose cellulose or fiberglass in the attic. It should be evenly placed with no evidence of compression, mold, or dampness, all of which lower its ability to resist temperature change. If yours is damaged or lacking, you may be able to add more as a do-it-yourself project, or hire a contractor who specializes in retrofitting home insulation.

In the Walls

You can detect the amount and condition of insulating materials in the walls by removing the cover plate from an electrical outlet that sits on an exterior wall. After turning its circuit breaker off, use a screwdriver to remove it. The wall cavity should be stuffed evenly. It's helpful to check the levels in a few different rooms throughout your home to verify that the builder installed it evenly. Experts can blow loose cellulose or fiberglass into the walls, or use expanding foam.

In the Basement

If your basement walls aren't insulated, the ceiling joists should be to slow heat transfer from the livable areas of your home. Fiberglass batts are easy to install in the joists. Insulation is an important element of keeping your home's cooling and heating costs within reason during the summer and winter. To learn more, contact Lozier Heating & Cooling, providing HVAC services for Des Moines-area homeowners. Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Des Moines, Iowa area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: "AKuptsova/pixabay"