Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why do you need to know what type of insulation I have?

We need to know the type of insulation you currently have to help in determining your homes existing R-Value. This will help us know how much insulation to add to build to the desired R-value.


2. Why does the depth of my insulation matter?

To determine the R-value of your existing insulation we need to know what type of insulation and how much (in inches) of it you have. The type and depth of the insulation are the two multipliers needed to calculate the R-value.

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3. What is R-Value?

R-value is a measurement of “thermal resistance” or heat transfer. The higher the R-value in the home the more resistance to heat flow it will have. Some building materials have more R-value than others. Metals and glass have a very low R-value while insulation has a much higher R-value.

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4.Why should I care about R-Value?

You should care about R-Value because your home is likely equipped with inefficient, underrated R-value insulation. Unfortunately builders meet the bare minimum - not the optimal amount of insulation. Poor insulation results in energy loss and you pay for it with your utility bills every month.

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5. What are the R-values associated with each type of insulation?

The R-value of your home's existing insulation is determined by the type of insulation and how much (in inches of thickness) you have. The insulation in your attic settles at different rates over time, determining the average depth. The R-Values for each type of insulation we use to come up with the total R-Value are as follows:
  • Cellulose: 3.5 per inch.
  • Fiberglass: 2.8 per inch.
  • Rockwool: 3.2 per inch.
  • Vermiculite: 2.7 per inch.
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6. What is the default R-Value?

We have determined that a default value would be R-15. This is based on our experience having insulated over 5000 homes in the area.


7. What impact will additional attic insulation have on our home?

Additional attic insulation will increase the R-value of the ceiling of the home. Increasing the R-value will increase the resistance to heat flow from conditioned space to unconditioned space. Slowing heat flow will make the house more comfortable and reduce the workload of the furnace and air conditioner saving energy. When you save energy you save money.

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8. Do you endorse a brand of insulation? Why?

Affordable Comfort installs “CELL PAK” www.cellpak.com cellulose insulation. CELL PAK cellulose insulation is made from 100% recycled materials. It is treated to resist pest and mold and fire. CELL PAK only uses newspaper that has never been wet and no advertisement paper which will crumble to dust when processed. Cellulose that contains a lot of dust will settle too much resulting in a reduced R-Value. Because CELL PAK comes out of small particles it creates millions of tiny air cells that slow the amount of heat transfer. Cellulose insulation is a dense product that resists infiltration. If you slow down the infiltration from unconditioned space to conditioned space or vice versa you also slow down the heat exchange.

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9. How long does it take to install the insulation?

Most homes can be insulated in one day. Many insulation projects can be completed in a few hours. We can usually get most projects on the schedule and completed within one week.

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10. How long will my new insulation last?

Insulation should hold its installed R-Value for 15 years. If your homes insulation is more than 15 years old you should look at bringing the R-Value back up to the desired level.

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11. How have you come up with the recommended R-Value?

The Department of Energy (D.O.E.) www.energy.gov has come up with a map of the US that is divided into regions. These regions represent the various climates. Their recommendations for desired R-Values for that region are based on the severity of the weather on that area.

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12. What are the zones and coloring on the map?

The various zones or colors on the map represent the various weather regions of the country.

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13. Who is the Department of Energy?

The department of Energy www.energy.gov is a government agency whose mission is to ensure America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental and nuclear challenges through transformative science and technology solutions.

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14. Why are the recommended R-Values from the DOE important?

The DOE has set these recommendations to increase energy efficiency. These standards are in place so that we can know what the optimal level of insulation would be for a given region. - Is this determined by humidity, average temperature

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15. Do you remove the old insulation?

In most situations the existing insulation in a home still has some usable R-value so it is not removed. However, sometimes it may be necessary to remove the old insulation because it has become damaged and or the homeowner prefers the old product removed and then replaced with new product. Affordable Comfort does offer a removal service. Give us a call if you would like a quote.

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16. Do you add to the old insulation?

Yes, It most situations the existing insulation in a home still has some usable R-value so it is not removed. Cellulose insulation has air sealing characteristics so topping off the old insulation (if it is a product that has less density like fiberglass) can actually boost its R-value.

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17. When should I test my insulation for asbestos?

You should test when you have exposed vermiculite insulation.

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18. How do I test my vermiculite insulation for asbestos?

You will need to gather a sample and send it to a lab for testing. Be sure to put on a dust mask and gloves. Scoop up a sample into a quart-sized zip lock baggie that includes product from the top, middle, and bottom. Affordable Comfort uses Precision Analysis Inc. www.precisionanalysisinc.com/

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19. What do I do if my vermiculite insulation tests positive for asbestos?

If your insulation tests positive for asbestos we will need to install a protective barrier on top of the old insulation to encapsulate it.

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20. My neighbor told me that windows cause more than anything else in the home.

80% of the typical homes heat loss goes through the ceiling. This makes the attic the most critical place to control this heats loss by air sealing and insulating.

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21. What is the life time value of the insulation?

The return on investment for installing insulation blows away that of a bank savings account. Typically, insulation pays for itself in energy savings in a couple of years. After that it is all gravy.

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22. I already have great insulation, what else can I do the conserve energy?

Are you sure? One of the great misunderstandings is that homes are built with adequate insulation. Insulation has the greatest impact on reducing heat loss in a home. Other things to consider include reducing infiltrations around the house through the doors

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23. How do I figure out the square footage of my attic?

We need to know the area to be insulated in square feet (S.F.). In most homes you will simply multiply the length of the house times the width. Let’s say your home measures 45’ across the front and 25 from the front to the back. You would multiply 45x25=1125. So the answer would be 1125 S.F. Some homes may not be so simple to measure because the ceiling may be vaulted and have no attic space or the home is 1 ½ stories. It still comes down to the need to know the S.F. to be insulated. We are looking for the flat area of the ceiling. If your home has vaulted ceilings don’t give up hope. Many homes that have been built in the last 25 years are constructed with “scissor” trusses and therefore have attic space above the ceiling even in the vaulted area and can be insulated.

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24. I have no idea how to figure my square footage, what can I do?

Don’t worry, just give us a call and we walk you through it. Please keep in mind we are willing to come to your house and give you a free estimate at any time.

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