Many people think that the purpose of insulating attics and walls is to keep their Satellite Beach home warm during cold weather. However, thermal barriers also keep buildings cool in hot weather. Adequate amounts of insulation reduce the load on heating and air conditioning equipment, increase comfort and improve energy efficiency.
The Department of Energy defines how much insulating material is needed to keep homes warm in winter and cool in summer according to climate zones in the U.S. Here are ways to evaluate whether you have enough to keep your Florida home cool.
Thermal material is rated by R-value, which describes how well a material resists the transfer of heat. Higher R-values have better thermal resistance, which reduces the amount of heat that leaves or enters your home. In Florida , seven southern counties, including Miami, Palm Beach and Broward, require a minimum of R-30 for the attic. For the rest of the state, a minimum of R-38 is recommended.
Check Attic R-Values
Insulating the attic is the best way to prevent heat exchange. Roofs are exposed to many hours of sunlight, which can raise roof temperatures to 180 degrees F. This heat radiates down through the ceiling into the living space. If the insulating material is below the joists in your attic, you probably need to add more. Experts recommend covering the joists with a thermal barrier.
Examine Utility Bills
High cooling bills often indicate too little attic insulating material. If levels are adequate, make sure the attic and other spaces in the building envelope are well sealed. Holes and gaps reduce energy efficiency and can increase the load on your air conditioner.
The heating, ventilation and air conditioning experts at Ellington Air Conditioning & Heat can evaluate the R-value of existing attic thermal material to see if you have enough. If you don’t, we install several types of attic insulating material designed to keep your house cool. We also look for leaks in ducts and the building shell.
For more information about installing insulation in your attic, saving energy and improving comfort, call the experts at Ellington Air Conditioning & Heat in Brevard County at (321) 222-6718 or (305) 824-2265 at our Marathon office.