As an insulation contractor serving Northern Virginia, DC, and Metro Maryland, all things insulation are second nature to us; but we know homeowners like you have questions. We spend a great deal of time educating our customers about the benefits of home insulation and about the different insulation materials we install. To help you better understand what upgrading your insulation can do for your home, here are answers to four of the most common insulation questions we get asked.
Why Is Insulation Important?
Insulation controls heat flow into and out of the home. During the summer, it prevents unwanted outside heat from seeping into your living spaces, especially through the roof and attic where heat tends to accumulate. In the winter, it keeps valuable indoor heat from escaping through the walls, attic, and roof.
When your home is properly insulated, you can expect more consistent indoor temperatures year-round, as well as a reduced need to run your heating and air conditioning systems throughout the year. Other benefits of proper home insulation include:
Enhanced overall indoor comfort
Greater home energy efficiency
Lower annual heating & cooling costs
Longer lasting HVAC equipment
Soundproofing for a quieter home
Where Should I Install Insulation in My House?
The most important areas in the home to insulate are the attic, exterior walls, and crawlspace or basement. The reason: these areas tend to see the most heat loss and heat gain throughout the year. Exterior walls, for example, can account for 35% of the heat loss in a home. Meanwhile, properly insulating your attic can help you save up to 50% on your heating and cooling bills.
What Kinds of Insulation Are Right for My Home?
Different types of insulation can offer unique benefits for your home — and what’s best for one area of your home might not be what’s best for another. We often install blown-in cellulose insulation in attics, for example, because it is eco-friendly, offers soundproofing, is highly resistant to mold growth, and has impressive insulating qualities. Meanwhile, we often install Icynene spray foam insulation in crawlspaces and around air leaks because spray foam offers both moisture resistance and air sealing.
How Much Insulation Does My House Need?
When considering proper insulation levels, it’s important to understand R-value. R-value is a numerical rating which represents how effective insulation is at controlling heat flow. The higher the R-value, the more effective the insulation is.
Different areas of your home have different R-value recommendations for insulation. Here in Northern Virginia’s climate, for example, ENERGY STAR recommends insulating between R38 and R60 in the attic and between R25 and R30 in floors. If you were installing cellulose insulation with an R-value of R3.8 per inch in the attic, you would need to install enough insulation to achieve an R-value of R38 to R60 (at least 10 inches).
Most homes here in the DC area are under-insulated. The best way to find out how much new insulation your home needs is to schedule an energy audit, which includes an in-depth assessment of your home’s insulation levels.