Atlanta, GA- Home owners who want to save a bundle of money on their annual heating and cooling costs need to bundle up their homes with the right kind of insulation.
In order to keep a house comfortable, heat lost in the winter is replaced by the heating system, and the heat added in the summer is removed by the air conditioner. “To ensure that both systems are working as efficiently as possible, thus keeping utility bills to a minimum, home owners should properly insulate their walls, ceilings and floors,” said Frank Blanton, president Chamberlain Blanton Associates (CBAA), an Atlanta-based architectural firm.
“Most homeowners have no idea how much money they waste every year by not properly insulating and sealing their homes to prevent money from flying out the windows and through the doors and attic,” adds Blanton. “Half of an average American’s energy costs are spent heating and cooling their homes so insulation is a key factor in reducing energy costs.”
Blanton says that there are a number of steps a home owner can take to properly insulate a home such as having a professional with diagnostic equipment conduct an energy audit. In many areas local utilities will conduct a free or low-cost evaluation. Others may want to hire a local contractor.
The type of insulation home owners should use varies depending on the house and its geographic location. In addition to a variety of insulation materials, insulation is also measured in terms of thermal resistance, called R-value, which indicates its resistance to heat flow.
Blanton says that fiberglass is the most common insulation material while rock wool (made from rock and used as blankets or batts) and cellulose (made from recycled paper) are close seconds. Synthetic insulation, in the form of foam, is also popular. However the kind used depends on where it will be applied as well what type is already in use.
The R-values of the insulation used depends on the type of material, its thickness and its density. The higher the R-value the greater the effectiveness of the insulation.
“The type of insulation needed depends on a number of factors including climate, type of heating (oil, gas, electricity, etc.) and the area of the house being insulated,” says Blanton. “Unless a person fully understands the factors involved in insulating a home, it is recommended that a professional conduct an energy audit prior to work being performed.”
CBAA’s broad range of experience has produced award winning designs in commercial and institutional buildings, corporate and medical offices, multifamily and private residences, as well as light industrial and recreational projects throughout the eastern U.S.
Consumers can access the Energy Wizard that for a wide range of topics from conservation and new technologies to generators and tax incentives, among others. E nergy related tips can be read and energy questions can be submitted by going to www.EnergyWizard.info.