Cooling Down Weather—Is Your Home Insulation In Good Shape?

Russell's Heating and Air ConditioningThis has been a hot October. Air conditioners put in serious overtime deep into fall to handle the major heat waves we’ve experienced. But we’re finally getting a break, with temperatures set to drop into the high 70s. For people in other parts of the country, it may sound bizarre to hear us call this cooling down, but life is different in the Southern California deserts.

Whatever else the temperatures are like in other places, you need to be focused on your heating and cooling needs. We’ve already discussed the need for heating maintenance (yes, even here, it’s important). Today we want to address another part of your house that may need improvement to help handle the change in seasons: the insulation.

Insulation and Making Sure Your Heater Has to Do Little Work

The job of insulation in a home is to slow down the movement of heat from one place to another. During cooler days, this means trapping as much heat inside your home as possible. In general, your home is warmer than the outdoors during colder weather: the heat created by human bodies, appliances, and lights all generate warmth. This warmth will rapidly escape to the outside if the insulation around the home is insufficient. When the house loses heat, you’ll feel a draft, and you may have to turn on the heating system to replace the lost heat.

If you have effective insulation, however, you can often enjoy the right warm comfort inside your house on cool days without needing to turn the heating system on. This is one of the big advantages of living in a warm climate: on most winter days, you’ll have sufficient warmth trapped inside the house that you don’t need any additional help from a heating system.

Unfortunately, older homes often have inferior insulation with the incorrect R-values (a rating of how well the insulation stops heat movement of), leading to bad drafts during the winter and having to put more energy into running the heating system. This poor insulation isn’t good during our long summers, either, since it allows heat to rapidly enter the home and put more strain on the AC. If your house is drafty, it’s time to do something about it! Arrange for new insulation with our experts.

Duct Insulation

Ensuring the ducts in a home have proper insulation is also important. The escape of heat through duct walls can account for a significant loss of warmth in your home when you do need to run the heater. Insulating the ducts is beneficial for the air conditioning system as well, stopping heat from raising the temperature of the cooled air. You’re probably going to be using the AC again soon during a surprise heat wave, so having your ducts effectively insulated is important no matter the time of year.

If you are looking for a service to install new insulation in Cathedral City, CA, contact us. We also offer ductwork insulation to help make your HVAC system as efficient as possible.

Russell’s Heating & Air Conditioning serves the Inland Empire and the Desert Communities. We’re open 24 hours to see to your needs.

Why Is Good Insulation Important?

Most people understand that having good insulation is important, but do you know why? Do you also know that having good insulation isn’t important just for the winter season, but year-round? Are you aware that there are several types of insulation available for homeowners to use? Having a basic understanding of how insulation works and the types available can help to answer why having good insulation in your home is so important.

What Does Insulation Do?

Heat naturally moves toward colder air; the job of insulation is to slow the transfer heat, significantly slowing this natural movement toward cooler air. During the winter, insulation stops heat from moving toward the colder areas of your home and the outside; in summer, insulation slows the hot air from the outdoors from moving into your cooled living spaces. Heat moves in three ways:

  • Conduction – the way heat moves through materials
  • Convection – how heat moves through liquids and gases
  • Radiant – heat that travels in a straight line and heats any solid object capable of absorbing the heat

Without good insulation, there is no way to slow any kind of heat movement.

Types of Insulation

There are 4 main types of insulation:

  • Blanket/roll – this type of insulation comes in pink or yellow rolls, and is the most commonly-used type of insulation.
  • Foam board/rigid foam – this type of insulation comes in a rigid board that can be cut to size.
  • Spray foam – increasingly popular, spray foam is an adhesive that expands greatly when it makes contact with air and forms an air-tight seal with whatever it comes into contact with.
  • Loose-fill – loose-fill, also known as blown-in insulation, is made mostly of recycled materials and is blown into homes through a small hole cut into an exterior wall.

Reasons Insulation Is Important

  • Energy efficiency – without good insulation, you can’t maintain either heating or cooling.
  • Comfort – the absence of poor insulation can create drafts, hot and cold spots and general indoor temperature discomfort.
  • Less stress on your heating and cooling systems – your heating and cooling systems have to compensate for the lost heating or cooling, and will do so by working longer and harder. This can result in malfunction, breakdown and premature aging, in addition to higher monthly energy bills.

If you suspect you may be losing your heating to poor insulation, call Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning today and schedule service for your heating system in Yucaipa with one of our HVAC experts.