SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – Any homeowner trying to save money on heating and cooling costs should look up first, according to Gabriel Carini, owner of a San Diego heating and air conditioning service and installation company.
“Up to 40 percent of a home’s conditioned air escapes through the attic,” says Carini Heating, Air and Plumbing’s founder. “Adding attic insulation provides a continuous thermal barrier that minimizes heat flow through the ceiling.”
The heating and air expert recommends homeowners add blown-in attic insulation to keep their homes cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Carini uses AttiCat’s Expanding Blown-In PINK Fiberglas insulation, a product from Owens Corning.
“Blown-in insulation provides the best coverage, especially in hard-to-reach areas in attics,” says Carini, who has years of experience in heating repair and installation in the San Diego area. “It is better at in-filling gaps than traditional batt insulation, the kind rolled in between the ceiling joists.”
Check with the local utility company to find out if there are rebates for attic insulation. Carini says homeowners adding attic insulation may save an average of 25 percent on energy costs and increase the value of their home.
Insufficient or incorrectly installed insulation-usually compressed, uneven or visible gaps-lowers the savings and comfort of the living space.
The R-value is a measure of the insulation’s capacity to impede heat flow. The higher the R-value, the higher the resistance will be. Blown fiberglass that is 13 inches deep may be R-30. Each material, and often each brand of the material, has a different R-value. The material is the same, but R-19, R-30 and R-38 are all different thicknesses with different insulating properties.
“Talking to an air conditioning and heating expert can help you understand the differences in R-value, and they can tell you the recommended type for your region,” says Carini, a heating, air conditioning and ventilation installation and service professional.
A coastal area with a mild climate will have different insulation needs than an inland, warmer area. Moving up from R-30 to R-38 can keep a home five to eight degrees cooler. Homeowners in regions with particularly extreme temperatures may want to pay the additional cost to upgrade as an investment in their homes.
Some attics already have blown insulation in place. Provided it was installed properly, the old insulation does not have to be removed. New insulation can be applied over the old material and may save homeowners money.
The average cost for installing blown-in attic insulation is approximately a dollar per square foot, and it takes one to two hours to apply from start to finish. A Carini air conditioning repair and installation technician can provide a complimentary, detailed project estimate.