Properly insulating the attic in your Florida home is important to the overall efficiency of your HVAC system, but there are many myths and misconceptions about the process. Here is the truth behind some of the most prevalent attic insulation myths.
Insulating the Attic is Not Necessary in Warm Climates
Even in Southwest Florida, insulating the attic is important, as it prevents heat from escaping to the outside during the winter and prevents the hot air in the attic from warming your home during the summer. For the areas around Naples and Ft. Myers, the recommended insulation levels in the attic are from R-30 to R-60.
Insulating the Attic Will Seal Air Leaks
Attic insulation alone will not seal air leaks, though some types, such as sprayed foam, do a better job than others at sealing during the installation process. To properly seal the attic, there should be a separate vapor barrier installed if it is required in your area, and all holes drilled for electrical lines, plumbing vents, light fixtures and appliance flues should be sealed with caulk, expanding foam insulation, or for flues, chimneys and some recessed lighting fixtures, a combination of flashing and high-temperature caulk.
R-Value is Constant
R-Value is a measurement of a material’s resistance to the flow of heat, and it is assigned according to standard tests done in a lab. In actual use, the effective R-Value of an insulating material can vary based on many factors. Materials like fiberglass can increase or decrease in R-Value according to the temperature, and R-Value can be significantly reduced if the material becomes wet or is subjected to drafty conditions.
Insulating the Attic Automatically Increases HVAC Efficiency
Properly insulating your attic is only one factor in how efficiently your HVAC system operates. Some other examples include whether the HVAC system is sized properly, whether your ducts leak, how drafty your windows and doors are, and how many sources of heat gain are present, such as heat-generating appliances or windows without shades.
To learn more about how attic insulation affects HVAC efficiency, talk to our experts at Conditioned Air.We’ve been serving the southwest coast of Florida from Bradenton to Everglades City since 1962.