We are often asked by homeowners if their home’s existing insulation is sufficient. This is a trickier question than it seems. Local building codes require R-38 insulation in ceilings. But is that enough?
The United States Department of Energy has its own insulation map, showing that our section of New Mexico has these insulation needs:
- Add insulation equivalent to R-49 to R-60 in a currently uninsulated attic
- Add R-38 to R-49 in an attic with a paltry three to four inches of existing insulation
- Add R-25 to R-30 in a currently uninsulated floor
Most existing Albuquerque homes offer little option to homeowners for adding wall or floor insulation. Such jobs are large in scope and high in cost. But you can partially make up for a lack of sufficient floor and wall insulation by adding plenty of attic insulation.
Walls offer a different opportunity for money saving. Energy costs are continuous; paying for professional installation of insulation is a one-time expense. Preferred wall insulation is R-24, because conductive heat transfer does not favor a direction. Convective heat rises, but heat conduction simply goes through solid objects: walls, floors, ceilings. The harsh desert summer temperatures punish your home’s HVAC system already. You shorten the life of central air conditioners when you do not wrap your Albuquerque home in a thick blanket of R-24 wall insulation.
A great time to consider adding wall insulation is during remodeling projects. When the drywall is down, get insulation up! Consult with your local insulation expert during a kitchen, bedroom or living room remodel. Choose optimal R-value for your space, get insulation professionally installed, and you will notice a difference in your utility bills.
Several areas of a home are often overlooked by homeowners eager to add insulation themselves. These energy bandits include:
- Wall spaces around electrical outlets, which can be filled with expanding foam
- Underperforming weatherstripping around windows and doors, which should be replaced
- Old, cracked caulk around exterior window frames and doorways, which should be cleaned out and recaulked
- Crawl spaces under your home, which should receive batt insulation
- Blocked soffit vents around eaves, which should be cleared for airflow
All of these can be addressed by a local, trusted professional insulation contractor. Contact us at Millers today for an insulation evaluation. Your family will be more comfortable —and you will save money on energy bills — with properly installed insulation.