It's that time of the year again where our temperatures are going through the roof and so are the costs for cooling! As a homeowner, it is important to feel comfortable in your home, yet having little insulation and no air sealing can make this next to impossible without paying the high costs of cooling as the conditioned air is pushed out of the home by the heat penetrating through the main attic. Many homes in the Philadelphia region do not have adequate insulation or air sealing in their homes according to the guidelines provided by Home Performance with EnergyStar. There are a few measures that we can complete on your home in order to prevent this heat from pulling dollar bills right out of your pockets.
First and foremost, it is key to properly air seal any penetrations, connections, and other sources of air leakage in the main attic. Once this process is completed, you will want to add a maximum of 17 inches of insulation in order to get the R-Value to a final level of R-49. This process is not always as straightforward as it may seem. For example, in your typical Philadelphia row home the "attic cavity" is far too small to fit a worker into so we would need to use a densepacking method. This method allows us to adequately air seal and insulate the cavity to R-49.
The next step would be to seal off the exit points for the conditioned air. These areas are found in the basement/foundation and are known as the basement band joist(s). By installing spray foam to these sections, we can ensure that the cool conditioned air is not pushed out through the bottom of the home through stack effect.
The benefits of these measures can be felt throughout the year, not just during the summer months. By insulating and air sealing the attic, we can prevent the warm air from leaving during the winter. By insulating and air sealing the basement band joist(s), we can prevent the cold air from infiltrating your home. See the pattern yet?
All in all, by sealing off the top and bottom of your home, you can properly prepare yourself for the frigid winter months as well as the scorching summer months.