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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.

insulationInsulating 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.

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Adding a pet to your household can be a very rewarding experience, both for your family and the pet itself. If one of your family members has pet allergies, however, dander from the pet may cause symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes or other problems. In many cases, pet allergy symptoms can be significantly reduced by doing a few simple things around your home.

pet allergiesMaintain the HVAC System

Making sure that your HVAC system is clean and well-maintained can help reduce the amount of pet dander in the air dramatically. Have an HVAC professional perform routine maintenance on the system at least twice a year, including replacing the air filter and cleaning the blower fan, air handler and the evaporator coil thoroughly. Between visits, check the air filter yourself every month and replace it as necessary. Consider upgrading your air filter to one with a higher MERV rating to remove more particulates from the air, or consider installing a HEPA filter for the best protection.

Dust and Vacuum Often

Reduce the amount of pet dander and hair collecting in your home by dusting often with either electrostatic cloths or damp rags to catch all the small particles. Vacuum the entire home on a weekly basis at least using a machine with a HEPA filter, and eliminate clutter to reduce the amount of surfaces that collect dust and dander. Avoid installing carpeting, if possible, and take throw rugs outdoors once a month to clean them thoroughly.

Keep Bedding and Furniture Clean

If possible, try to keep pets out of the bedrooms of family members with pet allergies, and use hypoallergenic mattress covers, sheets and pillowcases in each room. Wash all bedding at least once a week. Vacuum upholstered furniture weekly, and consider installing furniture covers or throws that can easily be removed and washed to reduce pet dander accumulation.

For more ideas to help alleviate pet allergies in your home, talk to our HVAC experts at Conditioned Air today. Since 1962, we have been providing quality HVAC services to the Southwest Florida region, including Ft. Myers and Sarasota.

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Your home heating and cooling system is your primary tool for keeping your home comfortable, but insulation is another factor that can have a significant effect on indoor comfort. The type of insulation you use in your home must be carefully chosen, and the insulation R-values must be appropriate for your geographical area. Here is a brief guide to insulation R-values and why they are important.

Insulation R-values For a Comfortable HomeThe Purpose of Insulation

Insulation prevents the flow of heat from warmer to colder areas. In a residential setting, insulation keeps warm air in during the cooler months and out during the hotter part of the year. Without insulation, or without enough insulation, heat from your furnace or heat pump escapes from your home in winter, while your air conditioner is overwhelmed with incoming heat during the summer. This makes your indoor spaces uncomfortable and increases the amount you pay for heating and cooling every month.

R-Values and Their Meaning

Insulation R-values indicate how effective a particular type of insulation will be at resisting the flow of heat. There are several types of insulation available to choose from, including fiberglass, cellulose, and foam. Each type of insulation will have an R-value, while better-quality insulation of each type will typically have a higher R-value. The higher the R-value, the better the insulation will be a resisting the flow of heat.

The R-value of insulation can also be affected by the thickness and density of the material, and whether or not the insulation material is compressed. Each layer of insulation is considered separately when calculating R-value, with the values of each layer added together to reach the final R-value rating.

In southern Florida, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends insulation with an R-value of R30 to R60 for attics, R13 to R15 for walls, and R16 to R19 for floors.

Conditioned Air serves heating and cooling customers in the Florida communities of Sarasota, Bradenton, Ft. Myers, and the surrounding areas. Contact us today for more information on insulation R-values and the benefits that proper insulation can have for your home.