I can't tell you how many times I have heard that statement! 

Let me ask you a simple but critical question: Does your AC run all the time, or at least 85% of the time? If it does, that is a very good indication that you don't have enough insulation in your attic. 

If you take a peak in your attic and you can see the tops of the ceiling joists, you don't have sufficient insulation! In fact, very few homes today have enough insulation...not based on my determination, but that of the DOE (Department of Energy). Insulation is measured in R-values --the higher the R-value, the better your walls and roof will resist the transfer of heat. DOE recommends ranges of R-values based on local heating and cooling costs and climate conditions in different areas of the nation. The map and chart below show the DOE recommendations for your area.

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All of Alaska in Zone 7 except for the following boroughs in Zone 8:

  • Bethel
  • Northwest Arctic
  • Dellingham
  • Southeast Fairbanks
  • Fairbanks N. Star
  • Wade Hampton
  • Nome
  • Yukon-Koyukuk
  • North Slope

Zone 1 includes

  • Hawaii
  • Guam
  • Puerto Rico
  • Virgin Islands

*These recommendations are cost-effective levels of insulation based on the best available information on local fuel and materials costs and weather conditions. Consequently, the levels may differ from current local building codes.

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Insulation Tips

  • Factors such as your climate, building design, and budget when selecting insulation R-values for your home is important.
  • The use of higher density insulation such as rigid foam boards, in cathedral ceilings and on exterior walls is recommended.
  • Ventilation [and this is key in the over-all energy efficiency of your home] helps with moisture control and reducing summer cooling bills. Attic vents, such as ridge vents, box vents, turbine vents or solar power vents need to be installed along the entire ceiling cavity to help ensure proper airflow from the soffit to the attic to make a home more comfortable and energy efficient. Do not ventilate your attic if you have insulation on the underside of the roof. Check with a qualified contractor.
  • Recessed light fixtures can be a major source of heat loss, but you need to be careful how close you place insulation next to a fixture unless it is marked IC—designed for direct insulation contact. A reputable contractor can assist you with this, and when additional insulation is installed, those light fixtures will be properly protected.
  • Long-Term Savings Tip
    One of the most cost-effective ways to make your home more comfortable year-round is to add insulation to your attic.

Adding insulation to the attic is relatively easy and very cost effective. To find out if you have enough attic insulation, the thickness of the insulation needs to be measured. If it is less than R-30 (11 inches of fiber glass or rock wool or 8 inches of cellulose), you could probably benefit by adding more. Most U.S. homes should have between R-30 and R-60 insulation in the attic. Don't forget the attic trap or access door.

One easy way to find out if home needs insulation is go to the DOE Zip Code Insulation Calculator.

Right now, Superior Exteriors is offering a FREE 15 Point In-Home Energy Inspection, a $250 value. Contact Paul today to schedule your FREE 15 Point In-Home Energy Inspection by going to the about us page and filling in your contact information, or you can email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to schedule an appointment, OR you can call the office to schedule an appointment.