Homeowners in our region are always looking for ways to make their houses warmer without turning up the thermostat and paying more on utility bills. You’re probably already dressing in layers, and have air sealed around windows and doors to keep warm air in and cold air out, but what about your attic? Surprisingly, the space right over our heads is one of the major energy wasters in the typical residence. The good news is you can stop the heat loss and keep warmer by adding attic insulation. Here’s why.
Where is the Heat Going?
Most of the heating from your furnace hovers near the ceiling because heat rises. Reversing ceiling fan blades will help bring it down to ground level and also make sure it’s not escaping into the unconditioned attic. Warm air tends to migrate through avenues you may not have been aware of: through the attic hatch and recessed lighting, around vents, and through minute cracks where walls and ceiling meet. You certainly want to seal those avenues, but you also need to ensure there’s a proper amount of insulation on your attic floor. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can save 10 to 50 percent on your heating bill if you properly insulate your attic.
How Much Insulation?
If you have flooring or plywood on your attic floor and you’re storing things on top of it, the stored things and the flooring will have to be removed. If you already have insulation in the attic, and it is below or even with the joists, you should add insulation until it’s at least 10 inches higher than the joists. It doesn’t matter if you use fiberglass batts or blown-in insulation, or if the type you use is different from the type that is already there. Also be sure to insulate or weather strip around attic hatches, pipes, wires or cables leading into the attic.
For more on attic insulation, contact Stack Heating, Cooling, Plumbing and Electric. We’ve served the greater Cleveland area since 1976.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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