As summer steamrolls across Louisiana, many homeowners in New Orleans and the surrounding area are wondering how they can lower their cooling costs without lowering their quality of life. If turning off the air conditioner isn’t an option, what’s the next best thing?
The truth is you don’t need to run your air conditioner all day to maintain cool conditions. If your home is adequately air sealed and insulated, you can set your thermostat to relatively high temperatures without sacrificing comfort.
Reduce air leaks to reduce cooling costs
In many homes, up to 30% of conditioned air is lost to tiny holes and imperfect connections in HVAC ductwork. More is lost through air leaks along the roofline, between floorboards, and even around window panes and electrical outlets.
Insulate to keep homes cooler longer
Proper insulation also helps to maintain consistent temperatures indoors. Heat is always in motion. During the summer, it flows into your home. Insulation reduces heat flow. By reducing the passage of heat into your home, you can also reduce the energy required to dissipate heat. In southern Louisiana, a ceiling insulation with an R-value of 26 is considered sufficient to reduce heat flow.
Or insulate and air seal simultaneously
In order to achieve the maximum savings, of course, it’s best to do both – air seal and insulate. Fortunately, there are insulation options that allow you to do both at the same time.
Spray foam insulation
Open cell spray foam insulation, which is typically applied to roof decks and wall interiors, provides roughly R-3.7 per inch of insulation. Closed cell spray foam insulation, which is applied to sub-flooring, registers at R-6.2, one of the highest R-values available.
The spray foam insulation cost for the initial install will be higher than alternative insulation options. However, since spray foam is a far superior insulator, the savings in energy costs will more than compensate over time.
Both open cell and closed cell spray foam provide phenomenal insulation value, but they do more than insulate. They also air seal. As spray foam expands, it fills cracks and gaps, preventing energy loss altogether.
Another option for homeowners looking to insulate and air seal simultaneously is cellulose insulation. Cellulose is composed of post-consumer, recycled newspaper, and like spray foam, its consistency allows it to wedge into and fill the spaces around ductwork and odd angles and corners, preventing air loss. Blown-in cellulose insulation has an R-value of 3.2 per inch of insulation, which makes it a cost-effective alternative to spray foam insulation.
Reduce cooling costs today!
Don’t let another humid, hot summer pass without upgrading your home’s energy efficiency. Not only will you feel more comfortable after having insulation installed, you’ll also begin to see significant savings on your monthly utility bills. Many of our clients have cut their cooling costs in half through the installation of spray foam or cellulose insulation. Contact our experts today to learn how we can help you reduce your costs!
Main Office: Sunlight Contractors, LLC 2323 Bainbridge St #110, Kenner, LA 70062 (504) 222-2082
New Orleans location: Sunlight Contractors, LLC 650 Poydras St, Suite 1400, Rm 33, New Orleans, LA 70130 (504) 302-0058