Regardless of whether or not you've noticed a draft in your Las Vegas home, installing additional attic insulation can make your home more energy efficient and result in savings. Often times, older homes don't have as much insulation than newer ones, and even recently built homes aren't always properly insulated.
To determine if your home has sufficient attic insulation, a professional home energy auditor is able to do an insulation check, in addition to ensuring your home is properly air sealed. You can also opt to do the insulation check yourself. However, you must determine which parts of your home, such as your attic, are properly insulated and which are not, the type of insulation currently used in your home, the R-value (a measure of resistance to heat flow through the insulation), and the thickness of the insulation.
Inspecting the Insulation in Your Home and Attic
To most easily inspect your insulation and determine what type is used and how thick it is, inspect an area of your home that is unheated, such as the attic. This area generally is not structurally finished, allowing you access to the insulation. To do an insulation check of the exterior walls of your home via an electrical outlet, follow the steps below.
- Turn the power to the outlet off.
- Take off the outlet cover, and shine a flashlight into the crack of the outlet box. This should allow you to see if there is insulation in the wall, as well as how thick it is.
- If necessary, remove a very small part of insulation to determine the type of insulation.
- Check all the outlets in your home, as the insulation may not be the same throughout.
- Check the areas in your home that are unfinished, such as a basement ceiling and the basement walls. Make note, newer homes might have insulation outside the walls of the basement, which you will be unable to see. In this case, the builder or the previous owner will need to be consulted.
Calculate the R-value
Once you have determined the type of insulation used and the thickness of the insulation, you can determine the R-value. (A higher R-value indicates a better quality insulation). Basically, you take the number of inches of insulation you have and multiply it by the R-value for the type of insulation you have. The U.S. Department of Energy has a Home Energy Tool to assist you in determining how much insulation should be added to your attic and home.
Calculate Your Savings
The Home Energy Tool can also be used to calculate your savings from adding additional home and attic insulation.
Who doesn't want to save money? Don't hesitate to contact First Quality Roofing & Insulation at 702-262-7847 for an attic insulation inspection and consultation in Las Vegas.