“Prepare for winter!” the advertising and advice columns shout. “Insulate your home! Check your existing insulation! This is essential if you’re going to be prepared for winter!”
It happens every year and, for many of us, it cements a connection in our mind:
- Insulation is related to winter.
- Insulation means keeping your house warm.
As a result of the above, it naturally follows to assume that insulating your home is only beneficial during the winter months.
For many people, this gives us pause. Is it really worth focusing on insulating our homes, when that insulation is going to be largely useless during the warmer months of the year? After all, if insulation is most useful in winter, does it not naturally follow that it’s not useful in winter’s opposite season— summer?
It’s tempting to think that the above is true, but here’s the reality: insulation is a year-round friend of your home. It has just as much to offer in the summer months as it does in the winter.
What is insulation?
To explain how insulating your home is beneficial in both summer and winter, we need to look a little deeper into what insulation is and how it works.
The majority of insulation used in modern homes is known as “bulk insulation”. This insulation is usually made from bulky materials such as wool, foil, or fiberglass. These materials tend to be very light, as it’s not actually their weight that is required to insulate a home.
How does it work?
Bulk materials like wood and fiberglass trap air bubbles within them. This is vital, as air itself is one of the best insulators you can find. When air is trapped against the roof or walls of a building, a fantastic insulating effect is achieved. This air creates a barrier, which prevents outside air from penetrating into a building.
So, in winter, the colder outside air is unable to cross the barrier created by the insulation. As a result, the heat transfer is stopped, and you’re able to ensure that your home is toasty warm all winter long.
How does this work in summer?
Again, the key factor is the barrier that is created by the trapped air. In summer, the air is very warm. Without insulation, this warm air would cross into your home and make it unpleasantly hot inside.
With insulation, the opposite happens: that air barrier does its work and ensures that the hot air stays outside. As a result, your home stays cool through the summer.
What about foil insulation?
Foil is often used in conjunction with wood and fiberglass. Its purpose is to reflect heat back to its source. This means that in summer, foil prevents infrared rays from entering your home. In winter, foil helps to prevent heat from leaving your home. So whatever type of insulation you have, you can be sure of benefits throughout the year.
Improving your insulation for the warmer months
Until this point, your main focus regarding your insulation would have been to make the most of the installation during winter. However, now that you know that insulation is hugely beneficial during summer also. Capitalise on this by enhancing the cooling effect your insulation offers with a few simple tweaks:
- Check your insulation is in good condition. To perform to the best of its abilities, your insulation needs to be in good condition and securely attached. As you would in winter, make sure you check on it, and ensure it is looking strong and ready to perform the vital task of keeping your home cool.
- Open your windows at night. Temperatures drop at night, so open your windows and let the cooler air circulate through your home. Of course, make sure you do this safely; for example, you may want to close the windows on the ground floor before you head to bed for the evening.
- Make sure the insulation can do its job. It will protect your home from the worst of the summer heat, but it’s important to give it a helping hand. It’s not just air that has the ability to heat your home. Direct sunlight will also contribute, so draw curtains or use thermal blinds to diminish this impact. You take care of the sunlight, and your insulation will take care of the too-warm air.
Insulation is a vital component of your house throughout the year. You’ll be able to enjoy a warm, cozy winter thanks to your insulation, while also ensuring you stay as cool as a cucumber through the hotter months. Contact us to schedule a free inspection of you attic and crawl space to make sure you stay cool in the summer. Enjoy!