Did you know, The Department of Energy recommends that a home’s attic insulation should provide between a R-38 and R-60 value? Without knowing the science behind insulation, you may suffer in a home that is under insulated, causing you home discomfort. But have no fear, this blog will give you an inside look of what our Home Environment Solutions experts have to say about understanding insulation in order to have a comfortable home!
Insulation works in two ways, reducing heat loss in cold weather and reducing heat gain in hot weather. Insulation is installed in a home to limit heat transfer. This means preventing the air you pay to heat from escaping during the winter and preventing hot, humid air from the outside from entering the home in the summer.
Listed below are some negative consequences that happen to a home that has poor working insulation…
- Voids: Voids are areas of missing insulation. These can happen as a product of improper installation or be required by code. For example, an insulation void is required around a recessed "can" light that is not rated for insulation contact. Whatever the reason, insulation voids allow heat transfer by convection and radiation. Research has shown that just a 4% void in fiberglass batt insulation can result in a 50% reduction in insulation effectiveness.
- Compression: Compression happens when fiberglass batt insulation is pushed down, which eliminates many of the tiny trapped air pockets that provide insulation value.
- Air movement: Air passing through insulation diminishes insulation effectiveness because it deposits dirt in the air pockets of the insulation, reducing its ability to resist convective heat loss. To effectively slow heat transfer, the air pockets in insulation must be clean. This is why air sealing is essential before adding insulation.
- Moisture: When insulation is exposed to moisture, R-value is decreased because the air pockets that are supposed to provide resistance to heat transfer are now filled with water!