Insulation is one of the most important factors contributing to the performance and energy efficiency of your ductless HVAC system. When air can escape your home or enter from the outside, it’s harder for your system to work optimally. When a system has to compensate for poor insulation, it can lead to more energy being burned than necessary and higher energy costs.
What exactly is insulation?
Home insulation is designed to trap air in your home and prevent external air from entering. This way, your heating and cooling system can reach and maintain comfortable temperatures in your home without being impeded. Insulating a home usually requires the installation of various insulating materials that reduce airflow along with the sealing of gaps and cracks where air can escape.
The direction of airflow depends on the temperature difference between your home and outdoors. Warmer air naturally flows to cooler areas through a process known as heat transfer. In the summer, hot external air threatens to flow into your home and increase the temperature when your AC is blasting. Conversely, heated air in your home during the winter naturally escapes outside, decreasing the internal temperature if insulation is poor.
Does insulation really help?
Yes! Insulation makes a big difference when it comes to making your home more comfortable and increasing the performance of your ductless HVAC system. In fact, homes with sufficient sealing and insulation can see a whopping 25% decrease in the amount of air flowing in or out, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
This results in an average savings of 15% on HVAC costs and an 11% reduction on energy expenses overall. Boston homeowners actually stand to gain increased savings compared with their southern counterparts due to a combination of factors including fuel types, construction elements, and climate differences.
How can I make my insulation better?
Keep doors closed.
Insulation isn’t just about keeping heat from escaping or entering your home. It’s also needed to efficiently maintain different temperature zones. Just like you’d close your front door to keep air from flowing in and out, shutting bedroom doors can help optimize the performance of individual indoor units. For example, if your living room is set at a standard 68-degrees Fahrenheit but your master bedroom’s temperature is a bit higher, closing the door can make it easier for your ductless HVAC system to maintain both zones.
Seal up cracks and gaps.
Air can escape through the tiniest gaps, making it difficult for Boston homeowners to know exactly where insulation is compromised. That’s why it’s important to seal up any cracks and gaps that could allow for unwanted air transfer. Some of the most common culprits of air leaks include:
- Window frames
- Door weather stripping
- Plumbing vents
- Attic hatches
Walking around with a smoking incense stick and seeing where the smoke naturally flows can pinpoint the problem areas. Reinforcing these gaps or cracks will make a big difference in improving your system’s energy efficiency.
Insulate your attic and crawl space.
Attics and crawlspaces are the two areas in your home that pose the biggest risk of air leakage. It’s common for Boston homeowners to view their ceilings and floors as impermeable surfaces, capable of preventing air from escaping. In reality, air can get through the smallest openings such as piping, lighting fixtures, and outlets to reach these areas in your home. When your attic and crawl space aren’t insulated, your heated or conditioned air is going to get compromised. That’s why it’s crucial to ensure these spaces are properly sealed by closing off gaps, filling in cracks, and installing a leak-proof layer of insulation.
Looking for a local Boston ductless expert? You’re in the right place! The New England Ductless team has been proudly serving homeowners throughout Boston. Whether you want to make the switch to ductless HVAC systems or schedule maintenance services, we’ve got you covered. Book an appointment today to get started.