Posts Tagged ‘attic insulation’

Everyone is looking for a way to save money and one of the best ways to cut costs is on your energy bill. By installing new insulation, you can enjoy savings of up to 30% on your monthly utility bill.

If you’re looking for a way to drastically cut your energy costs, consider insulating your attic loft. Most people don’t realize the significant amount of heat that’s lost through an un-insulated attic – this number can be as high as 30% of your heating bill.

Think about that. If your bill is $180 per month in the winter, you’re literally throwing away $54 each month. Over the course of a year, you will be out almost $650. For most of us, $650 is nothing to sneeze at. By installing new insulation in your attic, you could effectively save three and half months’ worth of utility bills.

Imagine not paying your utility bill for three and a half months! If this sounds good to you, you’ll be happy to know that the process of installing new insulation is quite easy. In fact, you can do it yourself without hiring a contractor. All you have to invest is a little bit of research time, your upfront yearly energy savings and a weekend of easy labor. Yes, the upfront cost can be a little off-putting, but the good news is that this is a cost that’s also deductible on your yearly taxes. It’s a win-win!

Now that you’ve made the decision, you must think about what material you will use to insulate your space. Most people choose to use fiberglass or cellulose in their attic. Either is an acceptable choice, as it will accomplish the goal of keeping heat inside your home. However, you might also consider reflective foil, or radiant barrier as it is sometimes called. Radiant barrier is used in conjunction with regular insulation to keep unwanted air out and heated and cooled air inside.

Once the job is complete, you will begin enjoying savings immediately. Within a short period of time, you will have made up the cost of installing the insulation and everything from there will be money in your pocket.

Want to save money? Help the environment? Stay more comfortable in your home?

We were confused.  There’s been a good amount of discussion lately about alternative insulation methods and conserving energy.  After all the hype and conflicting stories, I think we finally figured things out.

Radiant barrier is another name for attic insulation, a product that should be installed in your attic.  The purpose of the product is to block the flow of radiant heat from one place to another.  Namely, from your cozy warm home up through your attic into the big open outdoors.  Paying attention now?

Every day, each minute of the winter months, you’re losing expensive air up through your attic.  Do you know how easy it is to stop?  Doattic insulation you know how easy it is to save some money for as long as you own your home by simply investing now in a little radiant barrier attic insulation?

When the heated air from your living room (for example) rises, it meets your regular mass insulation.  That stuff slows it down a little, until the insulation absorbs all it can hold.  Then the heated air just keeps rising and heads on out of your attic.  Have you ever noticed how, after a hard snow, some homeowners roofs are pretty clean of snow?  That’s because the roof is so warm from all that escaping heated air that the snow melts quickly.  That’s bad.

When you lay the radiant barrier type of attic insulation – made from 99% aluminum sandwiched over a thin, flexible, polyester woven scrim – down over the rafters in your roof, it effectively acts like a barrier to rising radiant heat, forcing it back into the living space below.  It’s lightweight, flexible, and easy to install.  All you need is a box cutter knife.

The result of using radiant barrier is a warm home, more consistent thermostat setting, and money saved.

Okay, let’s have a little fun. You don’t want to contribute to “global warming” by heating your neighborhood with your heating unit, right? And I’m sure you don’t want to cool it down with your air conditioner either, right? Radiant barrier is being used by families all across the globe to control their interior climate. Is this the key to getting a handle on your home comfort levels?

The whole purpose of your HVAC system is to allow you to control your indoor temperature despite what the thermometer may say on your patio. Since heat will naturally seek out a cooler place to roam, the proper use of radiant barrier throughout your home can ensure that you get the most out of your heating and cooling system.

In the winter months, when the temperature drops, your goal is to keep heat that has been generated by your heating system or solar heat that may come through your windows trapped in the interior spaces of the home. In the summer months, as the mercury climbs, your goal is to keep heat generated from the sun outside. Optimally, that heat is blocked before ever entering your home.

Radiant barrier is the insulating product that many homeowners are turning to in order to achieve both goals. As a result, many are finding that the life of their heating and cooling systems are extended since they don’t have to work as hard, run as long, or turn on and off as often as before they made the decision to switch to the more effective radiant barrier.

When you are able to effectively direct the radiant heat that is generated through your equipment or by the sun, it puts you in control of where you want that heat to go. For example, a radiant barrier that is stapled to the rafters in the attic has the ability to reflect up to 97% of the sun’s heat back outside. This means that your attic space will be cooler along with the rest of the home.

Conversely, in the winter months, a radiant barrier placed in interior walls or the floor of your attic will direct the existing heat from your interior spaces, most likely generated from your heating unit, back into your living areas rather than escaping to the outside. This keeps the heat right where it will do the most good. After all, “global warming” by heating the outdoors with your heating unit is not your intention, right?

In every climate, the ability to control heat flow through the use of radiant barrier insulation methods is key to controlling the climate inside your home, even though we cannot control the climate outside. With the rising costs of utilities and the concerns over energy and the environment, radiant barrier is becoming the insulation of choice for many homeowners.

Today I have the distinct pleasure of enjoying a day that’s minus 18 degrees.  “Enjoy” might not be the best word, on second thought.  Or maybe I do mean it, but in a tongue-in-cheek kind of way.

The Midwest is known for our corn and our pork.  We’re known for good public school systems and for those bridges in that Madison County movie.  But we’re also known to have some pretty darn cold winters.  And that’s a fact.

As a native of Florida, I detest the cold weather.  Over a decade of living in Iowa hasn’t thickened my blood or made me less susceptible to being discomfited by the frigid temperatures and biting wind.  I stay indoors as much as possible and avoid stepping outside, even into our garage, as much as possible.  That can make for a long five months of a season, for sure.

One thing that’s made Old Man Winter more tolerable has been the insulation project we finished late last summer.  Tired of astronomical cooling bills, we scheduled a home energy audit with our utility company.  He told us that all those faint drafts and cool rooms added up to some significant air transfer, and that’s not a good thing.

He determined we had some decent basic insulation in our attic, but that we certainly had room to add more.  He also suggested we look into a relatively new product (but evidently one that’s getting a lot of press) called reflective insulation.  The product looks a lot like tin foil, the stuff you might use in the kitchen.  But the foil insulation effectively stops heated air from moving into spaces where there’s colder air.  That was a perfect solution for our house, where the warm air we were paying for seemed to keep rising into the attic and out into the atmosphere.

You may be thinking ahead to spring already.  With spring comes fresh new Honey-Do lists.  Is getting a jump on the heat of summer top on your list?  You can ward off blistering rays with radiant barrier.

Also called foil insulation or reflective foil, or even reflective insulation, this product is comprised of a woven polyester scrim surrounded by 99% aluminum coating.  While easily cut with scissors or box cutters, it’s virtually impossible to tear – a characteristic which makes it easy to handle.  Sold by the roll in several lengths, radiant barrier works in conjunction with existing insulation to block the flow of radiant heat from one area into another.  While it may resemble aluminum foil, it’s definitely not a cooking product.

Radiant barrier should be installed in your attic when temps are mildest in your area.  Not only does that help ensure that you don’t get overheated or that your fingers are warm enough to work properly, it means you’ll be getting the project done before the worst of the season arrives.  In that way, radiant barrier can start saving you money immediately.

While it’s not critical to have another set of hands helping during the installation process, things can go more smoothly when someone else can unroll and cut the product, leaving you to staple and smooth along the rafters.  It will also make the installation process move a little more quickly, a definite perk to any DIY project.  Estimate one weekend afternoon to get the project completed.

If you’re interested in understanding just how well the product works, be sure to keep copies of your energy bills and make year-over-year comparisons of pre-installation and post-installation.  Make note of any significant changes like the addition of another refrigerator or freezer, anything that might counterbalance a reduction in energy consumption provided by the radiant barrier.