All of us pay to heat and cool our homes and wish we could pay much less than we do. In a typical home, space conditioning and comfort bills can account for up to one-half of a home's energy bills with the remaining portion due primarily to water heating, lighting, and appliances.
Installation of the cost-effective level of insulation is extremely important. Homeowners can affect their energy usage, save money, and help the environment all at the same time. Investing in energy-efficient options, such as insulation, will provide a continued payback to the homeowner, not only in dollars and cents, but also in a more enjoyable and comfortable living environment for many years, as well as a reduction in emission of greenhouse gases.
Heat naturally flows from a warmer area to a cooler one due to a difference in temperature. The greatest heat flow is through the path of least resistance. In the wintertime, any heated space of your home will lose heat to unheated areas such as the garage, attic, crawlspaces, or the outside. In the summertime, heat is transferred to the interior of your home due to a high outside temperature and admission of solar radiation (sunlight). In both cases, your home's heating and cooling system must replace or remove heat lost or gained. Proper insulation of the attic, walls, floors, and basement of your home will significantly help reduce heat transfer, reducing your monthly energy bills.
All forms of insulation are rated by an R-factor which is defined as its resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-factor, the greater the resistance to heat flow. The R-factor of thermal insulation depends upon the type of material used and its thickness and density. Adding additional insulation to your home increases the R-value and hence the resistance to heat flow, because the R-values of individual layers are added together. Two layers of insulation, one with an R-value of 19 and another with an R-value of 11, sum to a total R-value of 30 (19+11).