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Larry Janesky, owner and founder of Dr. Energy Saver is On the Job again, this time helping the owner of this ranch-style house make his home more comfortable year round.
As it happens with all one-story buildings the temperatures in this ranch house were being greatly impacted by the temperatures in the attic right above every room.
The homeowner had the attic previously insulated with blown fiberglass but the thermal imaging scans performed by Dr. Energy Saver proved that the loose fiberglass wasn't helping much.
During the summer, when the roof was heated by the sun, the temperature of the dry wall ceiling reached up to 95 degrees. That heat from the ceiling was radiating to the rooms below, making the home uncomfortable and causing the air conditioner to work much harder to keep the house cool. That happens because loose fill fiberglass does a poor job when it comes to stopping air flow. It is simply too fluffy and not dense enough to keep the air that flows through the soffit and ridge vents from wind washing the insulation.
If the fiberglass couldn't stop the attic heat from being transferred to the living space during the summer, it could not stop the heat in the living area from escaping to the attic during the winter, making the heating system work harder as well.
Air sealing is an important part of an attic insulation project. Before blowing in the insulation there are several steps that need to be taken such as air sealing and caulking openings and gaps in the construction and installing air sealed boxes around recessed light fixtures. You also need to make sure that there is a dam around chimneys, and that the soffit vents will not be blocked by insulation.
Since this particular home already had several inches of loose fiberglass in the attic, Dr. Energy Saver specialists opted for adding a layer of blown cellulose on top of the fiberglass. Blown cellulose has a higher density and higher R-value than fiberglass. The denser cellulose on top of the fiberglass will help in two ways: it will help stop the air flow through the fiberglass and add R-Value to the attic insulation. This ranch style house will be more comfortable in every season and the heating and cooling bills will be lower.
At Dr. Energy Saver we specialize in finding ways to make homes more comfortable and energy bills more affordable. To learn more about other ways to improve your home's energy efficiency and save some money on heating and cooling bills, watch other episodes of "On the Job" or simply call Dr. Energy Saver for a complete home energy audit!