Friday, February 7th, 2014 by Wendy Hunter
When insulating your home, there are many types of insulation to choose from. A professional contractor can help you choose the best insulation based on where you need to add/install insulation and the recommended R-values of the areas you want to insulate.
Most people only think about insulating their homes when mornings turn frosty. Unfortunately, that’s just when many insulation contractors are their busiest and least likely to get to your job in a timely way. Nor will you find them as receptive to negotiating their rates as during the non-heating season.
Winter, however, shouldn’t be the only time you think about insulation. In summer, with roof and attic temperatures soaring, insulation is critical to keeping your home cool and cooling costs low. In fact, in many regions of the U.S., insulating to keep the heat out is more important than insulating to keep heat in.
Another reason to insulate now, regardless of the season, is that doing so will prepare your home for when you decide to upgrade (or must replace) your HVAC equipment. It makes little sense to install a new furnace, boiler, or central AC system until you’ve brought your home’s insulation levels to the R-levels recommended by the Department of Energy. The payback on every dollar spent on conservation is much quicker than for dollars spent on HVAC equipment, regardless of how efficient it is!
Adding insulation does more than reduce the amount of fuel and electricity you’ll need for heating and cooling your home. It also reduces the loads (peak demands) your HVAC equipment will need to meet during extreme winter and summer weather. This may translate into less wear and tear on existing heating and cooling equipment as well as a cost break on new HVAC equipment when you upgrade.
Some homeowners do not understand that furnaces and air conditioners that are too large are less efficient than their smaller, right-sized counterparts. The smart approach to bringing your home to peak efficiency and comfort levels is to insulate and properly seal air leaks and only then have your HVAC contractor calculate your home’s heating and cooling loads. The BTU capacities of your new equipment should be based upon this calculation – not on the capacity of the old equipment being replaced.
Regardless of the time of year or where you live, upgrading your HVAC system and insulation improvements go hand in hand. If you are contemplating a new furnace or central air conditioning system, let Dr. Energy Saver of Hudson Valley maximize your insulation first.
It's smart to have your insulation inspected and to make the necessary improvements to your insulation before upgrading your HVAC equipment. Otherwise, you may end up buying more capacity than you need -- and cause your new HVAC equipment to run at lower efficiencies than projected by the manufacturer.
We are Hudson Valley's experts when it comes to maintaining a comfortable, energy-efficient home. We know the right type of insulation to install and where to install it. We can also replace your old heating and cooling system with an energy-saving option.