The best heating and cooling system your hard-earned money can buy for your Fresno area home will be of little use if your home is poorly insulated. Insulation is a one-time investment that pays great dividends year after year in fuel savings, conserved resources, and increased comfort for you and your family. Let’s review the basics, from top to bottom, starting with vocabulary:
What is R-value?
R-value indicates thermal Resistance; it describes how much the product stops heat flow or transfer. Up to 4 inches of insulation has an R-value of 1 (not very helpful!). While insulating materials vary, the higher a material’s R-value, the better an insulator it is. So batt and roll material 12 inch thick could be R-38, while rigid board can be up to twice that R-value per inch of thickness.
- Your attic should have at least R-30 insulation. If your attic is already insulated with batt and roll spun-glass insulation (the fluffy yellow or pink stuff with a paper backing), adding R-25 material on top of that is helpful. The added insulation can be blown-in cellulose.
- If you access your attic through a doorway or pull-down stairs, make sure to apply weatherstripping around the door or hatch.
- Ensure that joints around chimneys are caulked, too, for increased resistance to air and water leaks.
Insulate ducts running through your attic separately. Better, hire an HVAC contractor to first seal the ducts and then follow up with rigid board material. Ducts should be insulated anyplace they run through an unconditioned area.
Blown-in insulation (again, the work of professionals) can be added to your walls without disturbing your interior.
The basement and crawl space of your Fresno area home need attention, too.
- Crawl spaces should not receive batt and roll material, due to moisture issues; rigid foam board or sprayed foam-in-place is better.
- Basements require attention at the floor, walls and ceiling, each a different challenge. Moisture and heat loss are your enemies here. A professional contractor can design an entire system to keep your basement livable all year long.
For more help in keeping your Fresno area home well insulated, please contact us at Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Fresno, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).