Whether you live in a cold or hot climate, one of the most significant measures to take in saving on energy costs will be properly insulating your home. Living in South Florida, it becomes even more important during the hot summer months. If your air conditioner is battling the heat of the summer day, it will run longer than it should and cycle off much more frequently. All this means more electricity used, which in turn will drive up your electric bill. Since heat is basically invisible, it is often neglected as an influence in the performance of an air conditioning system. However, it is so pervasive, it must be tackled in order to gain efficiency of your HVAC system. The problem usually becomes apparent after the equipment has been checked meticulously, and the heat problem persists. This problem going unaddressed is understandable, since it can be costly to add insulation to a home. Verifying that the unit is operating perfectly is the first step in determining if your home needs more insulation.
The Harvard School of Public Health declares that over 46 million homes across the country do not have enough insulation in the attics and walls. Tinting windows can keep a lot of heat out of the airspace as well. This means that millions of dollars are being lost away through the windows, walls and ceilings of many homes. Insulation also allows the Air Conditioning system to reach it’s operating efficiency, which will aid you in saving your money. A 16 SEER system may perform like a 13 SEER system if the home has inadequate insulation. Again, this will show up as an increase in your energy bills.
We believe the attic and windows are a great place to start. This is assuming you have addressed any issues with air escaping or entering the home through cracks, crevasses and spaces between windows and under doors. Having the heat of the day infiltrate the home through the attic and windows can make an air conditioning system never cool the home to the temperature set on the thermostat. The system will cool efficiently in the evenings, but in the hottest of the day it will not be able to keep up with the heat in the air entering the home. If this happens to you, you may need more insulation added to or installed in your attic. Locating trees and bushes by exterior windows can make a significant difference in energy efficiency as well. Moreover, the older slatted or Jalousie windows must be changed. This is based on the fact that they may never completely seal the home off from the outside air.
One way to determine if your home needs insulating is to have a professional asses your home. He or she will asses every aspect of your home in regards to improving your energy efficiency. A thorough inspection along with a “Heat Load Calculation” is essential for determining if your Air Conditioning system is the correct size, and how much heat is infiltrating your home. There are many different types of insulation. Some of the different types of insulation used are:
- Blanket: Batt and Roll Insulation
- Foam Board or Rigid Foam
- Loose-Fill and Blown-In Insulation
- Concrete Block Insulation
- Insulating Concrete Forms
Do not underestimate the need for sufficient insulation in your home. It can make all the difference in gaining control of your energy bill. More information can be found on AirCool Mechanical Systems Official Website, or energy.gov/energysaver/articles/where-insulate-home.