If a homeowner wants to make his home more energy efficient, he will often change out a large part of his HVAC system, such as replacing window air with central air or replacing a boiler. However, these changes can result in thousands of dollars for the unit alone. Homeowners can expect to pay twice the price of the unit after the unit is installed. After the new unit is installed, homeowners may not notice much of a difference in the comfort level of the home if air is escaping through holes in the building and the insulation. Homeowners may be able to make a more dramatic change in the home’s efficiency and comfort level by changing or adding insulation. This process is much more affordable than reconfiguring an HVAC system.
As many companies and homeowners strive to save money, they recognize the amount of money that they lose from energy waste. They also recognize the environmental impact of using fossil fuels and other nonrenewable resources to heat and cool their homes. These changes in the construction industry have made the R-value of a building a much more important factor to consider when constructing and remodeling a building.
When determining whether a homeowner needs new installation, the R-value of the existing insulation will be assessed. An R-value is a measure of the insulation’s resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value of the insulation, the greater energy efficiency that the insulation possesses. If a house has a high R-value, the house likely does not need new insulation. However, if the R-value is low, this can indicate that the insulation is ineffective and needs to be changed.
A variety of factors affect the R-value. The type of insulation that is used, the thickness and the density can all impact the R-value. Some houses feature multiple layers of insulation and this requires adding the R-values of each layer of insulation together with the other layers.
When air flows around the installation and into studs and joists, the R-value is less. It is also less if the insulation is compressed. For these reasons, spray foam insulation is often preferable to other forms of insulation. Spray foam can expand and contract with the seasonal contraction of the home. It can also enter the crevices and fill small spots that thicker insulation cannot.
The optimal amount of insulation that you need depends on the location of the building, the typical climate, they type of HVAC system you have installed and the location of the area where you are installing the insulation. Before making any important changes to the insulation or HVAC system, a homeowner or building owner should have the building inspected by an HVAC specialist. This specialist can assess the R-value of the home and can offer specialized recommendations related to the need for insulation and other ways to increase the energy efficiency of the building. The R-value is an important factor to consider when evaluating the energy efficiency, but a specialist can help determine other problems and solve these efficiency problems.