Insulating your attic or crawl space might feel like a project best done just before winter. Yet you can potentially save a lot on energy costs by insulating your home this summer. Especially given today’s high energy costs, it makes even more sense to do whatever you can to keep the cool air in and the summer heat out.
Here are four tips to consider so you can save on energy costs this summer.
Audit your home energy use. Do-it-yourself home energy audits can help you locate leaks and find places in your house that would benefit from additional insulation. A professional energy auditor, though, will be more thorough and provide specific recommendations about where to add insulation, as well as other tips for saving money on energy.
Match the insulation to your home. Spahn & Rose offers three types of insulation: blanket, loose fill, and batts and rolls. Blanket insulation is available in several thicknesses, widths and lengths, making it easy to match areas that need insulation with a specific type. Loose fill is composed of glass mineral wool that can be blown into an attic or other hard-to-access places. Batts and rolls are often used in attics, basements, cathedral ceilings, crawl spaces and side walls.
Choose the optimal R-value. Insulation’s effectiveness is measured by its “R-value,” which assesses how well it resists conductive heat flow. The greater the R-value, the more effective the insulation. To provide guidance as to which insulation is optimal, the Department of Energy has created R-value zones. Iowa is just about evenly split north and south between Zone 5 and Zone 6. That means the suggested R-values in the southern part of the state would be R38 to R60 for attics; R13 to R21 for walls; R25 to R30 for floors; and R25 to R30 for crawl spaces. If you want additional thermal performance, you can always add an extra layer of insulation.
Little gaps make a big difference. Maybe you’re not worried about all the little cracks and gaps you see around your windows, but those tiny perforations add up. The presence of lots of gaps and cracks can be equivalent to leaving open a three-by-three-foot window from which air conditioning can escape, according to research from Knauf Insulation, one of the world’s leading insulation manufacturers and a Spahn & Rose preferred vendor partner.