How Insulation Can Affect Energy Savings

Insulation Energy Savings

Insulation plays a very important role in keeping the indoor temperature at a comfortable level while also reducing energy costs. During the summer, your air conditioner removes heat from the inside on the structure and moves it outside. As a result, the indoor temperature is lower than the outside temperature. Through the laws of physics, the outdoor temperature wants to enter the structure and balance both temperatures. This is known as heat gain. The same principle applies in the winter. Your furnace or heat pump raises the indoor temperature and this difference of temperature makes the heat inside your house try to move outside. This is known as heat loss.

The walls, windows, doors, roof and floor of the structure are known as the “thermal envelope” of the building. Anytime you can stop or slow air temperature movement through the envelope, you improve the indoor air comfort and reduce the amount of energy required to maintain that comfort. The insulation of your home or business is so important that the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code regulates it.

This code requires minimum insulation standards and states the reasons for these standards is as follows:

  • Building energy codes saves consumers money. A home that does not meet the minimum requirements will result in years of wasted energy and high operating costs for the owner.
  • Building energy codes result in healthier and more comfortable buildings. The code reduces the amount of air that enters the structure from places like the crawlspace, attic and outdoors.
  • Energy codes bolster the economy. The money that consumers save from lower operating costs can be spent on goods and services in the local economy.
  • Energy codes reduce our dependency on foreign energy. Properly insulated buildings consume 40% less energy than buildings that do not meet the code.

The state of Georgia energy code that became effective January 1, 2011 is the adoption of the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code along with the Georgia State supplements and amendments. The code specifically addresses four different areas of a building that should be addressed to achieve the standard.

  1. Air sealing – requires that the structure be air sealed to avoid moisture and thermal movement through openings in the thermal envelope.
  2. Continuous insulation – requires that the building be properly insulated to include an air barrier to reduce air movement across the thermal envelope.
  3. High performance windows – windows are effectively a hole in the buildings insulation letting heat pass through their thin glass. Windows should be double pain with high-energy ratings.
  4. Duct sealing – Duct leaking is often the biggest waste of energy in a home. Ducts should be properly sealed to save homeowners money and reduce pollutants from entering the home.

If your home or business was built before the January 2011 Georgia Energy Code was adopted, then you are wasting hundreds of dollars in energy costs every year. Improving the thermal envelope in your home pays you back with substantial energy savings every year. Give Empire HVAC a call at 404-294-0900 and we will come out to look at your home’s thermal envelope and suggest the energy savings improvements that will begin saving you money immediately. Schedule a technician by clicking the link below.

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