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What is insulation? Why do I need it? Can my home be without? These are probably the questions you have concerning insulation. Don’t worry, most homeowners don’t know why it’s so important. But the truth is, insulation is important for two reasons: to keep your home’s temperature comfortable and to save energy (and therefore money).
The purpose of insulation is to slow the rate of heat transfer (can be in a cold or warm climate). If your home is well insulated, you’ll know. Your electricity bill will show you. The more your home is insulated, the less cold (or warm) air you will be losing due to normal air flow and the less gas/electricity you will need to warm your home.
According to energy.gov, in order to understand why insulation is SO important, you must understand conduction, convection, and radiation, “Conduction is the way heat moves through materials, such as when a spoon placed in a hot cup of coffee conducts heat through its handle to your hand. Convection is the way heat circulates through liquids and gases, and is why lighter, warmer air rises, and cooler, denser air sinks in your home. Radiant heat travels in a straight line and heats anything solid in its path that absorbs its energy.”
Typically heat flows from warmer to cooler areas until there is no temperature difference. This means that in the summer, the heat from outside flows from the outdoors to the indoors. In the winter, heat flows from heated areas to non-heated areas like your attic where the bulk of your insulation should be.
The U.S. Department of Energy has recommended attic insulation R-Values that vary based on where you live. It is also estimated based on these values that 90% of homes in the United States alone are under insulated. The bigger the number, the more effective the insulation.That’s startling when you consider how much most homeowners spend on their energy bills annually.