For most Arizona homeowners, the attic is left out-of-sight, out-of-mind. Unlike in other areas of the country, very few of us use our attics for long-term storage; instead, our attics are best used for attic insulation.
But, how much insulation is enough? Is it worth adding more? In this blog, we’ll discuss the importance of attic insulation—and how it can save you money in both the winter and summers ahead.
Insulation prevents heat from getting in and cold from getting out
Let’s talk summers first, since we all know that the summers here in Lake Havasu City are the main priority when talking about energy-efficiency.
On the hottest of summer afternoons, your home’s roof is bathed in sunlight. Your roof absorbs much of this heat energy, but some of it goes through the tile, shingles, or other roofing material, heating up the attic. Meanwhile, your air conditioner is keeping the living spaces of your home cool and comfortable.
Not having sufficient insulation hurts you on two fronts. First, that heat energy has a much easier time getting into the living spaces of your home, which means your air conditioner has to work that much harder—and use more energy—keeping your home comfortable. Second, it’s easier for the cooled air to escape.
In the winter, the same phenomenon happens, but in reverse. It’s actually more pronounced during the colder months of the year: since hot air rises, a lack of insulation means that your heat pump or furnace will have to double its efforts to keep your home comfortable.
Insulation is the layer that prevents this inefficient exchange of air. In the summer, good insulation prevents hot air from breaching the living spaces of your home and cold air from rising into the attic, out the roof, and being lost.
How do I know if I have enough attic insulation?
This can greatly depend on a number of factors. Generally, the newer the home, the more insulation is in it: the standards for insulating homes have become more stringent in the past 30 years. However, this can greatly depend on the builder or what a previous owner might have done to the home.
Truthfully, all homes—even new ones with insulation that’s up to the standards of modern home builders—could probably use more insulation.
Insulation is measured by something called “R-Value.” This determines what kind of insulation you need, depending on where in the country you are. For example, Lake Havasu City and most of Mohave County is in Zone 3. (See a map)
The zoning will determine how many inches of insulation are recommended in your home. Again, for Zone 3 homes, 30-38 inches of insulation is what is officially recommended if you have a gas furnace. (See chart)
Are there other benefits to getting more attic insulation?
Yes, there are. For example, many utility companies, local governments, county governments, and the state of Arizona offer rebates for insulation installation. Here are some residential insulation rebates available right now.
How do I get more insulation installed?
Air Control Home Services offers professional attic insulation installation here in Lake Havasu City. We use spray-in insulation. This is easy to apply in your attic, fits around obstructions such as support beams, and offers superior cooling and heating retention for your home.
One of the best ways to identify if your home can use additional insulation is to give us a call and schedule a home energy audit. In addition to checking your insulation depth, this audit will find all sorts of other ways you can save on your monthly energy bills.