How Insulation in the Attic Can Dramatically Increase Your Air Conditioner’s Efficiency

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Many Arizona homes are designed and built with the air conditioning unit located on the roof. At first glance, this might seem counterintuitive. During summertime, the AC unit bakes in the hot sun as temperatures skyrocket on the roof – sometimes climbing as high as 140+ degrees. The attic, which is often no more than a crawl space just below the roof, contains the ductwork that carries cool air to every room in your home. Without proper insulation, the cold air your AC unit worked hard to produce, passes through the hottest part of your house (which immediately raises the temperature of the cold air.) Insulating the attic and the ductwork can dramatically improved the efficiency of your air conditioning system, helping to deliver more cold air where you need it most – in your house (not your attic.)

Home Air Conditioning Equation – Keep Cool Air Inside and Hot Air Out

Thermodynamics 101 says if you have hot air in one area and cool air close by – the hot air will move to the cool area and raise the temperature of the cooler air. Refrigerators are a great example of surrounding cold air with insulated surfaces in order to keep the cold air in and the hot air out. The same is true of your house. Proper insulation of your attic will help keep the cold air in and the hot air outside where it belongs.

  • Level of Insulation in Your Attic – Not surprisingly, many older Arizona homes have less effective or no insulation in their attic. This allows super-heated attic air to affect the temperature levels in the house and will necessitate the AC unit to work longer and harder to cool the home. R-Value is a measure of insulation’s ability to resist heat traveling through it. The higher the R-Value the better the thermal performance of the insulation. The recommended insulation R-Value for Arizona homes (according to www.energystar.gov) is R-30 to R-60.
  • Insulating Ductwork – Once again, the concept of keeping cool air in and hot air out is crucial to maintaining the steady flow of cold air from your AC unit through the ductwork and into your home. If the ducts are leaking, not sealed properly or not insulated, the extreme heat in the attic will adversely affect the cold air as it travels through the ducts. Insulating the ductwork also helps prevent condensation from developing. Though crucial, ductwork is often the most ignored aspect of home air conditioning systems.

Our Expert Service Technicians Can Check Your Attic Insulation During a Spring Tune up

April and May are great months to schedule a spring air conditioning inspection. Our friendly service pros will be happy to assess your attic insulation and your ductwork as well as the rest of your HVAC system. Insulation in your attic will improve the efficiency of your air conditioning system and help you save money.