Prepare For Cooler Temperatures By Ensuring Your Attic Has Adequate Insulation
Although winters in the Tampa Bay area are among the mildest in the country, cold snaps do occur—and if your attic insulation is inadequate, it will cost more to heat your home. Upgrading attic insulation also gets a big return on your investment, because more energy is lost through this space than any other location.
According to the Department of Energy, the insulation in attics in the Tampa area should be R-38. The “R” stands for resistance and the following number indicates the amount of time the insulation can resist heat transfer. An R-value of 38 can resist 38 hours without changing temperature. The thickness of your insulation is often a good indicator of its R-value, although the type of insulation matters, as well.
In order to achieve an R-value of 38, batt insulation needs to be 12 inches thick. If your attic insulation is less than the recommended value, adding more will lead to energy savings this winter. However, if you have foam board or rigid foam for attic insulation, your R-values will be higher with less depth. When you’re in doubt as to the kind you have in an existing attic, take a photo or a sample of the insulation with you to a home-improvement store, or call your HVAC contractor for help.
One of the easiest types of insulation to add to your attic is blown-in cellulose. Made from recycled newspaper that has been treated with fire, insect and mold retardants—but it can also be made from fiberglass fibers, with similar insulating properties—loose insulation is blown into the attic. One person needs to direct the hose in the attic, while another person loads the blower with the loose fill.
Another kind of attic insulation to consider is batt insulation, along with a radiant barrier. Since the heat in Tampa is intense, the radiant barrier reflects some of the heat back through the roof, so that it never reaches your ceilings, keeping the home cooler.
For best results, no matter the type attic of insulation you choose, use a professional to ensure efficiency. If you’d like more information about increasing your home’s energy efficiency, contact Simpson Air.
Attic insulation image via Shutterstock.