Heat always flows from warm places to cooler spaces. In the state of Florida, it means he heat will flow from the warm outdoors to the air-conditioned indoors. In the winter days, heat will flow from the warm insides to the cold surroundings on the outside. Ceiling insulation can decrease the amount of heat that flows from inside to the outside or vice versa. It also results in a reduction in heating and cooling costs.
R-Value and the Heat Flow
The ceiling insulation is rated in terms of thermal resistance. The thermal resistance is called R-Value and it refers to insulation performance by measuring the resistance of heat that flows through the insulation over some time. The insulation that has greater resistance to the heat flow has higher R-Value. It means less amount of heat enters the house during the hot summer months and lesser heat leaves it during the cooler months when the interior space is being heated.
When the heat flow between the inner space and the surrounding is slow it reduces the heating and cooling costs. Besides, comfort and health factors are greatly influenced by the heat movement through the building and the exterior shell which is also termed as an envelope. There are three ways in which the heat flows and they are conduction, convection, and radiation. When you control the heat flow in a single direction it does not necessarily affect the other modes.
Why Ceiling Insulation?
So, now to the main question. Why is it significant to insulate the ceiling or attic? Well, it is critical to insulate the attic as more heat travels via per square feet through the ceiling than any other area in the house. The most cost-efficient and simple way of ceiling insulation is by insulating the attic.
Importance of R-Value
The attic insulation thickness can be measured by using a ruler and if you multiply the figure by the number of inches you get the R-Value of the specific insulation for the insulation rating. The fact sheet provided by the DOE gives information about determining the R-Value by utilizing this technique.
When this rating is lesser than R-19 you are going to benefit by the addition of greater insulation. When you are not sure about the kind of insulation already existing in your home take a sample to some expert in insulation. Remember to use gloves and some other particle filter over the nose while taking samples. For attic insulation, the best home building practices opt for an R-Value between R-30 and R-38.
There are two distinct climate zones identified in Florida by the Florida Building Code. The Zone 1 counties need a minimum of R-30 ceiling insulation while the counties included in the Zone 2 need minimum R-38 insulation. Some other conditions are possible inside a home such as a cathedral ceiling which will limit the possibility of meeting the R-Values.
The effectiveness of attic insulation or a wall depends on where and how the insulation gets installed. For instance, compressed insulation will not allow you to know its full R-Value. The overall R-Value of the ceiling or a wall will also be somewhat different than the R-Value of the insulation. This is because some heat will flow around the insulation via joists and studs in the wood and the steel-framed construction or thermal bridging. However, this issue can be resolved by using a careful design.
The key to a useful ceiling installation system lies in the correct installation and use of quality insulation products. You can visit Vitale Homes for this. They prefer to install R-38 insulation in ceilings as opposed to their competitors who use R-30 insulation. The building must have a continuous insulation layer around the whole building enveloping the structure without compression and gaps. It is called your thermal envelope. Various studies conducted on the topic show that an improperly built thermal envelope can result in reduced performance of the insulation by 30% or even more in some cases.