A Simple Way to Calculate Your Insulation Needs

If you’re a homeowner considering insulation in Grand Rapids or insulation in Holland, one of your first questions may be how much insulation you home actually needs. What amount is recommended for our area, and what would make your home ideally comfortable?

One valuable resource for estimating how much insulation you need is the U.S. Department of Energy’s insulation calculator. After all, the Department of Energy, with its mission of research and education about energy use in the United States, has an interest in making sure homeowners are aware of the ideal amount of insulation for homes. Based on the best available information about local fuel and materials costs and weather conditions, the DOE researches and calculates cost-effective levels of insulation for homes. Therefore, regardless of where you live, the DOE insulation calculator can be very useful as a first step in any insulation project.

For the West Michigan area (zone 6), the DOE’s general recommendation for attic insulation specifies a total R valuebetween R49 and R60. You can use the calculator to find more tailored recommendations based on the type of heat you have, and whether you have an existing home or you are just building a new one. You’ll also find recommendations for each area of the home, because the appropriate R values vary depending on which part of the home you’re insulating.

Armed with this information, you can then prepare to evaluate your home’s existing insulation and further insulation requirements. That’s where it can be very useful to engage an insulation contractor to perform a home energy audit. This type of audit will assess how much insulation you already have, and where that insulation is. It can also suggest the type of insulation – perhaps fiberglass, cellulose, spray foam, or even a combination – that will provide the best comfort and efficiency for your home. And an audit will also point out any air sealing that should be addressed prior to insulating.

If you have an idea of your home’s current insulation, and you just want to add insulation to achieve the recommended R values, you can do that as well. Insulation contractors in Grand Rapids and insulation contractors in Holland should all be aware of the general recommended guidelines from the DOE’s energy calculator, and GreenFIT Homes certainly is. You can use the DOE’s recommendations to start the conversation about what you’re looking for.

At GreenFIT Homes, we specialize in both home energy audits and insulation installation in the Grand Rapids and Holland area. Contact us today at 616-887-2901, and within a few weeks you can be snug in your properly insulated home.

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