Living in a cold climate can make it difficult to stay warm and comfortable during the winter without spending a fortune on energy bills. One reason for this is that warm air has a tendency to rise and escape through your roof. Fortunately, you can take certain steps that will either eliminate or greatly minimize this problem. Here is a closer look at this issue.
Your attic has a number of spots where warm air can escape from the house. To reduce the amount of heat leaving the attic through cracks and gaps in various components of your home, you need to seal as many openings as possible. This process is called air sealing. Take a caulking gun and caulk around any gaps that you see, such as those around windows, chimney flashing, and vents. Also, seal any gaps around pipes or cables that enter the attic from the outside or a lower part of the house.
The key to keeping an attic warm in winter is proper insulation. An attic that is well insulated will keep warm air inside your home. Before installing any insulation, however, you must be certain the material has the correct R-value.
The ability of a material to resist heat loss is known as its R-value. A material with a higher R-value will do a better job of preventing war air from passing through it, according to the United States Department of Energy. Another important point to remember is that R-value increase as more insulation is added. So, 6 inches of insulation would have a higher overall R-value than 3 inches of the same material.
The Department of Energy website has a map that will help determine what R-value you need for your climate.
Types of Insulation
You have the choices of two main types of insulation. The first type, called batts or blanket insulation, consists of long rolls and is typically made from fiberglass. It's possible to install this type of insulation yourself, if you don't mind working in an unfinished attic. Before installing any blanket insulation, however, be sure it has the correct R-value for your climate.
The other main type of insulation is spray foam insulation which consists of a substance that is sprayed out of a hand-held device. This type of insulation has a high R-value and is usually very effective. It needs to be installed by a professional for best results.
Keeping warm air from escaping through the attic is an essential part of avoiding high winter heating bills. For more information about this important topic, contact a heating contractor in your city or visit websites like https://www.erickson-plumbingqc.com/.