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Insulation Makes A Big Impact In Attics And Basements: Know How Much You Need

Insulation plays a bigger role than most homeowners know. It has a twofold purpose: Depending on the season, it keeps the hot or cold air outside from penetrating into the home, while it keeps hot or cold air inside the home from escaping. It also helps the efficiency of your HVAC systems by decreasing the home’s energy load.

There are a few signs to watch for that indicate you might have a problem with insulation:

  • The walls and floors stay cool during the winter .
  • The inside of your home doesn’t feel cool when you run the air conditioner.
  • You have high energy bills.
  • The home isn’t evenly warmed or cooled.
  • You have mold problems.

Two of the more critical places where insulation really packs a punch are in the attic and basement. Because of the attic’s position at the top of the house, and because warm air rises, good insulation here means less energy loss. Inadequate insulation can lead to a 10 percent energy loss for the total costs to heat your home.

In the basement, the same process can occur. Without adequate insulation, conditioned air in the home can leak out, which works counter to your heating and cooling systems’ efforts. If air escapes here, basements can contribute a total energy loss of almost 25 percent.

The effectiveness of insulation is conveyed through R-Value, and R-Value varies with different types of insulation. Alberta’s climate necessitates that attic insulation is rated R32 to R40 and basement insulation is rated R17 to R20.

Without adequate insulation, the overall capability of your HVAC systems to heat and cool your home is affected. This is akin to throwing money to the wind. When your attic and basement are well insulated, the money you spend to condition the air in your home stays within your home — where you need it most.

At Arpi’s, we can help you assess the effectiveness of your heating and cooling systems and make recommendations that will increase their efficiency. Call us anytime with your questions. We are happy to help.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information, click here to download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.


Arpi’s services Calgary, Alberta. To get started, check out our website or see our special offers.