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Adding Insulation: Do It By the Numbers

Insulation reduces heat flow. Because heat moves naturally from warmer to cooler areas, insulating material is a big energy saver all year round. In warmer weather, it prevents heat gain, while in winter it prevents precious warmth from seeping away.

A surprising number of North Carolina homes were constructed without enough insulation. This means you could be losing a high percentage of energy through your attic and walls. Fortunately, insulating material can always be added to improve your home’s performance. How much you should add, and where you need it, are questions best answered by your contractor. Every home is different.

You should always assess insulation according to R-value, not by how thick it is. R-value measures how effectively the material prevents heat transfer. Higher R-values equate to less heat transfer. If you already have insulating material, it’s still a good idea to have it checked out. R-value can be compromised by things including improper installation, water damage, rodents and more.

Here are some guidelines provided by Energy Star as to how much insulation North Carolina homes should add:

  • If you have no existing attic insulating material: R30 to R60
  • If you have some attic insulating material: R25 to R38

If you don’t have enough insulating material in your walls, you can either wait until you’re ready to remodel, when you can install more material beneath exterior siding, or you can have loose fill insulating material, such as cellulose, blown into your walls.

Because R-value can be reduced by several factors, it may be necessary to remove any existing insulating material before adding more. You have the opportunity to go with rolled batt, which is a good idea if you’re thinking of finishing your attic, or have it blown in, which has the benefit of filling in small nooks and crannies.

Again, the best way to determine how much insulation you may need to add is to call Blanton’s Heating & A/C. While Energy Star can provide guidelines, every household is unique. Our highly trained team will be happy to evaluate your Fayetteville area home and help you save energy.