How Your Insulation Might Affect HVAC Efficiency

How Your Insulation Might Affect HVAC Efficiency

If you’re like most homeowners, you’re looking for effective ways to lower your annual heating and cooling costs, and increase your comfort. The Department of Energy (DOE) advises that properly installing an optimal amount of insulation in specific areas of your home can enhance your HVAC efficiency and comfort too.

The Correlation Between Insulation and HVAC Efficiency

Heat naturally moves from warm to cool areas to equalize the temperature difference between the two, and insulation slows down that flow of heat. Each of the many different insulation products available today is rated for its ability to resist heat flow with a numerical R-value, and the higher the rating, the greater the resistance.

DOE Recommendations for Insulating

To boost your home’s overall efficiency with more effective insulation, you need to know how much to add, and where to install it. The DOE offers guidelines on the total R-value of insulation to install in specific areas of your home to provide the greatest benefit. There’s a caveat to keep in mind though: Having too little insulation and you lose out on potential gains in efficiency, but insulating to a higher-than-recommended R-value is a waste, because it don’t provide an appreciable efficiency increase.

To help you determine how much insulation to install, and where, it’s worth having an energy evaluation performed on your home. Whether you have new insulation installed, or top up existing insulation that’s in good condition, you should aim for the DOE’s recommended R-value for the area of your home, such as:

  • Unfinished attic: R-38 to R-60.
  • Exterior walls: R-13 to R-15
  • Floors: R-25 to R-30

Check Your Ductwork Insulation Too

Ideally, HVAC ductwork is installed inside a home’s conditioned envelope to minimize energy losses. That’s not always the case, and sometimes ducts are routed through an unconditioned attic, garage or crawlspace. If ductwork is run through any such areas of your home, it needs to be properly sealed with metal-backed tape or mastic, then wrapped with an appropriate R-8 insulation.

To learn more ways to boost HVAC efficiency in your Monmouth County home, contact us at Aggressive Mechanical Contractors.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Monmouth County, New Jersey and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

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