Most people think having an insulated attic is all it takes to keep your home insulated. However, is not true. So, what is it that your attic needs to create better conditions for your home’s insulation and to keep the insulation functioning properly? The answer is simple, ventilation. Keep reading to learn why your attic needs proper ventilation, and how it can save you money!
Why Do I Need Insulation and Ventilation?
There are a few reasons why your attic needs proper ventilation in order to make your insulation function how it is supposed to.
In the summer, without proper ventilation in your attic, your roof will continue to heat up throughout the day. Eventually, it will heat up so much that your insulation won’t be able to handle it and will render useless. The heat that the insulation doesn’t catch will lower down into your home. The main purpose of attic and roof ventilation is to expel solar-heated hot air from the attic to lessen your home’s cooling load.
To prevent this, follow the air sealing and insulation strategies in this guide and make sure the attic is well-ventilated using passive vents and natural airflow.
Hot air rises. If you live in an area where it gets cold in the winter season, the warm air will get trapped inside of the attic between the insulation and the roof of your home. Not only will you be missing out on the warmth for yourself, that warm and moist environment can cause mold and mildew to start growing within your home and will make your insulation less effective. If you live in an area where snow is common, eventually, the heat that rises to your roof will cause the snow to melt. The melted snow will trickle down your roof and freeze into the shingles and gutters of your home and will eventually cause cracks and damage.
How Else Can This Affect Your Home?
If your home has proper insulation, you will save on your home’s energy cost. However, as previously explained, without the proper ventilation, your insulation renders useless. This means that with the ventilation, you are actually paying a lot more for energy cost than you actually need to be. ff your attic has blocked soffit vents and is not well-sealed from the rest of the house, attic fans will suck cool conditioned air up out of the house and into the attic. This will use more energy and make your air conditioner work harder, which will increase your summer utility bill.
What to do if You Need Insulation or Ventilation in your Home
If you have an older home, you most likely have an attic with insulation but no ventilation. Or, your home may not be properly ventilated. This is definitely something that can bring your energy costs down while also keeping your home nice and comfortable. If you want to find out more information about home insulation and to get an assessment to ensure your home is properly ventilated, give us a call at (210) 848-5658 or learn more on our site at Geo-Insulation!
Insulation is arguably the best defense against the changing temperatures that come with a new season. However, it can also be used by rodents to make themselves feel right at home in your own house. A rodent infestation will not only make the insulation less effective but also cause other problems for you and your family.
All rodent infestations have small beginnings, such as a nest in the attic or other warm areas in the house, before hoards of them join the party. You’ll notice droppings and urine near rodent nests and then eventually a variation in the temperature of the room where they’ve built their nest.
When it comes to damaging your insulation, rodents do it in one of two ways. They’ll either chew on and carry off insulation material to build a nest somewhere in the house or they’ll build a nest right between the insulation and the floorboards.
Sometimes you might feel it’s easier to accept the small variation in temperatures, especially if it is still bearable, so you ignore the infestation but this will only last for some time.
Eventually, the rodents will manage to remove all the insulation in your house, as well as gnaw on electrical wiring, plumbing and other structural components of your home. The constant gnawing at electrical wires—one of rodents’ favorite pastimes—will remove the protective layer around them, which will put your house at serious risk of a fire.
After the whole insulation system is destroyed, it will need to be replaced. This will mean an unnecessary and additional burden on your pocket that is a direct result of delay. In addition to the loss of several thousand dollars due to insulation damage, you’ll also have to deal with the added annual costs (electricity, etc.) due to energy lost from damaged insulation and risk getting diseases transmitted by rodents to your family and pets.
So if you think that repairs and removal of the nest is too much trouble, think again.
If you don’t want the hassle of getting rid of the infestation, the best way to go about it is to make sure it doesn’t happen in the first place. Rats enter your house through the attic and the small gaps in the walls. Closing all these gaps should go a long way in ensuring a rodent-free home.
After you close all the entry points, you can clear out the rodents that are already inside the house by using traps. The trappings should ideally continue for at least a week to make sure there aren’t any rodents left.
If you’re doing this by yourself, make sure you wear rubber or latex gloves, especially when you’re removing rat droppings and urine. You have to spray the area with a disinfectant to avoid the spread of any diseases. If this feels like too much work, you can always call a professional to do the job for you.
Climate change is one of the biggest challenges humankind is facing in this century. While policy makers debate about the steps we can take to solve this problem, the average Joe is taking this battle head on, and one of the things you can do to contribute is to make sure you have proper insulation.
Energy consumption is arguably the biggest contributor to climate change, and our fossil fuel-based economy has a huge appetite for energy. Alternatives to fossil fuels are yet to take off in a big way, but what has helped reduce energy bills in the past decades in America, thanks to sustained efforts of those who have raised awareness, is insulation.
Relatively simple steps, such as insulating attics and draught-proofing doors and windows, can have a big impact if it is done on a large-scale by the community. Such steps will not only help the household save money in energy bills but it will also help in the fight against climate change.
Many people have started adding solar panels on the rooftops in order to try and switch to cleaner and renewable energies. Such steps should be supplemented with proper insulation because it helps ensure the efficient use of energy. If a house is not adequately insulated, it will lead to increased costs because of issues, such as heat escaping from old or faulty insulation, which will force you to consume more energy to stay warm in winter.
There are different types of insulation that are available in the market today. You will have to choose one that is suitable for your needs and that fits your budget. A professional contractor should be able to understand your needs and explain the benefits and costs associated with each insulation option.
In general, look for or ask about the R-value of the insulation material, which varies depending on the type, thickness and density of the material used. The higher the R-value of an insulation material, the more energy-efficient it will be. Other considerations that a professional contractor might consider include the age of your home and its structure.
The Department of Energy has a handy tool called the Home Energy Saver, which uses data developed at the DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Based on your house, local climate and energy prices, it helps you determine energy-saving upgrades and answers questions such as where you need to insulate, the recommended R-values, the best type of heating and cooling system to use and so on. The tool also shows you how much carbon footprint you can reduce if you do the suggested upgrades.
Installing the right insulation to seal your home to reduce your heating and cooling bills is not a once-in-a-lifetime investment. You have to get the house inspected periodically to make sure there are no air leaks. A licensed contractor should be able to evaluate your house and offer professional advice about simple things, such as changing air filters to explaining your insulation needs.
Contact Geo-Insulation today to discuss insulating your home and take action against climate change!
Insulation is the best defense against rising energy bills here in the U.S. There are four common types of insulation that can be used to keep your home at just the right temperature without it being heavy on your pocket.
Loose-Fill and Blown-In Insulation
This type of insulation is best for an existing building, especially if it is in an irregular shape. It can be installed in existing walls, wall cavities, attic floors, and other places that either have obstructions or are hard to reach.
Installation is relatively easy as there is special equipment that helps the experts to blow it into place. The material used is usually recycled and it includes cellulose (reprocessed newspapers) and fiberglass (recycled glass). You can save up to 35% in energy costs with loose insulation. Learn more here.
Batt and Roll Insulation
Also known as blanket insulation, this type of insulation covers unfinished walls, foundation walls, ceilings and floors that are free from obstructions. Composed of pre-cut pieces of flexible fibers, fiberglass or rockwool, blanket insulation is placed on the surface that needs insulation, and it sometimes comes with foil, vinyl, or kraft paper facing which acts as an additional air barrier.
Batt and roll insulation is one of the most common forms of insulation in the market. An attractive feature of this method is that it is relatively inexpensive and easy to install. It is perfect for not only controlling the temperature of the building but also acoustics.
Reflective Insulation and Radiant Barriers
Reflective insulation effectively lowers cooling costs by reflecting the sunlight back instead of absorbing it. It is usually installed in attics to stop the heat from being transferred down to the ceilings.
This type of insulation can be a cost-effective solution in warmer locations than in those with colder climate. The materials used include cardboard, polyethylene bubbles, foil-faced kraft paper and plastic film. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, using radiant barriers can save you around 5 to 10 percent of your bills during summer. The reduced heat gain also means that you can go for a smaller air conditioning unit.
Our radiant barrier spray reduces up to 81% of the radiant heat trying to enter your attic and it doesn’t deteriorate over time as much as other types of materials. Learn more here.
Spray Foam and Foam-In-Place Insulation Spray foam and foam-in-place insulation is one of the best ways to control the temperature in your building because it has a multilayer approach. The method makes the building airtight, which has the added benefit of protecting you from outside noises.
The insulation material can be sprayed, poured, injected or blown into place, and it can be used in both existing walls and new buildings. If there are electrical and plumbing barriers in the building, the insulation material can be used without any problems.
With various options available in the market, the decision of choosing the right one depends on the location of the building and your specific needs. It is important to fully understand the benefits and costs involved in each insulation type before picking one that’s suitable for you. If you want to consult an expert in San Antonio, Texas, Geo-Insulation will be able to help you with all your insulation needs.
Spray Foam Insulation San Antonio | Geo Insulation San AntonioSpray foam insulation is an alternative to traditional building insulation such as fiberglass. A two-component mixture composed of isocyanate and polyol resin comes together at the tip of a gun, and forms an expanding foam that is sprayed onto roof tiles, concrete slabs, into wall cavities, or through holes drilled in into a cavity of a finished wall.
Spray foam insulation can be categorized into two different types: open cell and closed cell.
Open cell is a type of foam where the tiny cells are not completely closed. Open cell is less expensive because it uses fewer chemicals. It is a very good air barrier but does not provide any type of water vapor barrier. It is much more sponge-like in appearance. It is often used for interior walls because it provides sound reduction. It is not recommended for outdoor applications.
Closed cell foam insulation is much denser than open cell. It has a smaller, more compact cell structure. It is a very good air barrier as well as a water vapor barrier. It is often used in roofing projects or other outdoor applications, but can be used anywhere in the home.
Spray foam insulation saves on energy costs and lowers utility bills. Studies by the US Department of Energy show that 40% of a home's energy is lost as the result of air infiltration through walls, windows and doorways. Buildings treated with spray foam insulation typically insulate as much as 50% better than traditional insulation products.
Insulation that is sprayed in buildings protects against moisture, which provides the benefit of reducing the chance of harmful mold and mildew. Eliminating mold growth reduces the likelihood of rotting wood in a home, and allergic reactions to mold spores.
In addition to building temperature and moisture control, spray foam insulation is often used to reduce noise. Foam insulation serves as a barrier to airborne sounds, and reduces airborne sound transfer through a building's roof, floor and walls.
In the United States, homes treated with spray foam insulation often qualify for state and federal tax deductions.
Closed-cell spray foam insulation has the highest R-value of any insulation on the market today, at R-7 per inch. Closed cell foam is the most advantageous aspects of spray form insulation over open cell foam insulation.
Spray foam insulation expands as it cures and fills in all the nooks, cracks and crannies that would otherwise be left open for heat transfer. Closed cell spray foam creates an air tight seal against all incoming hot or cold air. Fiberglass still permeable to winds, the seal of spray foam insulation is 20 times less permeable to air infiltration than other types of insulation.
Energy savings are proportionally superior when closed cell foam insulation is installed as an insulation barrier. Closed cell spray foam insulation provides cost savings at a consistent rate of 50% or better.
Closed cell spray foam insulation is impermeable to water or moisture. If there is some flooding in the area, the spray foam insulation will not absorb any of the moisture. Also, material that is covered will be protected from the moisture. Estimated 90% of the moisture in your residence is in the air, this prevents moisture accumulation or permeation extremely well.
Closed cell spray foam insulation creates an airtight seal. Air leaks in your residence can contribute significantly to nearly as much to your utility bill. Closing air gaps, you save energy, money and you increase the air quality in your home by preventing that unfiltered air from circulating into your residence.
Closed cell spray foam insulation is made from an inert polymer, it provides no food source for mold or bacteria.
1. Reduces dust into the residence.
2. Seals from allowing critters to enter into the house via the crawl space.