Summer is coming, and summer in the South can be brutal on your cooling and energy bills, but it doesn’t have to be. With the proper insulation, you can keep your cool and keep your energy bills low. Insulation throughout your home should be of a good quality for a long lifespan, but here are three areas where good insulation is especially important:
A poorly insulated attic can affect your energy costs in two different ways:
- Air can escape from the attic
- Outside air can seep into the attic
No matter how high you blast the AC, hot air can seep in from outside and your cool air will escape. Even a little bit of hot air seeping in through the attic can cause an excessive increase in the cost of cooling your home. The heat from your attic can be absorbed in the ceiling and flow down into your home.
Summer heat can be absorbed through poorly insulated exterior walls. Exterior walls are the barrier between your interior comfort and the outside elements, so they need to be properly insulated for the summer and the winter.
Types of Insulation
- Batting — This material can be made of fiberglass, cellulose, mineral wool, and cotton. It comes in rolls and has various options of width and thickness.
- Loose fill — This material comes packed in bags, and is distributed to the desired depth with a blower. You can spread some loose fills by hand, but it can take twice as long, and getting the right depth will be harder. Fiber choice includes fiberglass, cellulose, and mineral wool.
- Sprayed foam —Sprayed foam polyurethane is a good choice if you’re considering converting your attic into a spare room. The foam is applied to the roof instead of the floor, it seals any leaks and acts as a heat barrier.
The Windows and Doors
Drafty doors and windows are the enemy of energy savings. Having dual paned windows can save you tons in energy costs, and they also help with noise reduction. Here are some other effective ways to insulate your doors and windows:
- Weatherstripping and caulking — Use a combination of caulking and weatherstripping on your doors and windows to plug any air leaks and keep the hot air out.
- Insulated curtains — Insulated curtains can block warm air from seeping into your home through the window, and have an added benefit of noise reduction. They can come in various colors and patterns, so you won’t have to sacrifice style for practicality.
- Cellular shades — These shades are made of folds of fabric that hold trapped air in pockets and creates an insulation barrier between the window and the room. You can get single, double, or triple cell shades.
- Window film — This can be applied directly to the window pane. Insulating window film can reduce glare and block UV rays, helping to shield your rooms from harsh heat and light.
Older homes may especially need an inspection or update. Don’t sweat about the summer heat! Give us a call at (256) 326-4232 for a free energy analysis of your home’s insulation.