If you’re experiencing high energy bills and less-than-ideal home comfort, you need to address underlying causes like air leaks and insufficient insulation to solve the problem. Here are some tips on how to check the insulation level and find air leakage sources in two specific areas of your home to help you decide if it’s time to have a professional make some necessary improvements.
The Department of Energy (DOE) advises homeowners in our climate region to insulate between the attic floor joists up to R-38, and to seal leaks to limit heat transfer between the attic and conditioned living space. There are a couple of easy ways to investigate these two issues:
- Wait until it’s dark then shut off the lights in rooms directly below your attic. Head up there, shut the hatch and take a careful look around to find leak points where light shines up from below.
- To see if you have sufficient insulation, turn the lights on and look around the attic floor. If you can see the top of any floor joists, that area needs more insulation. If all the joists are hidden, you have enough installed already.
Sealing all leaks sources, installing a vapor barrier on the attic floor and adding sufficient insulation is the best way to curtail attic energy waste.
The DOE also recommends insulating exterior wall cavities to R-19, and sealing any leaks in the envelope using caulk, spray foam insulation and weatherstripping. To check if these steps are necessary:
- Shut off the appropriate breakers first, then remove the covers from any electrical outlet/switches on your outside walls. Then, shine a flashlight inside the boxes to see if any insulation is visible. If there’s not, the walls probably need insulating.
- Turn off your interior lights at night, then move around the house shining a flashlight over the exterior walls. Have someone follow you outdoors to pinpoint any locations where light reveals a leak through the shell.
To learn more tips about increasing the insulation level and sealing leaks in your Orlando home, contact us at Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
Credit/Copyright Attribution: “John Kasawa/Shutterstock”