Here's a chart:
The government says you should strive for R60.
As to the dollar savings in going from R43 to R60, there are factors to
* Your location
* What it will cost, depending on the type of additional insulation, vs.
* Is the attic the chief contributor? That is, what percentage effect do the
doors, windows, and walls have?
My neighbor and I built our houses about 12 years ago. (Zone 7). The
recommendation at the time was for R40. I put in R60, my neighbor put
in R40. We both heat with electricity but he supplements with a wood
stove using about 5 cords during the winter. I do not use anything
other than the electric furnace.
My house is 1800 sq ft with very large triple-pane windows, his is
1400 sq ft with a mixture of dual and triple pane windows, all of
We are both on the hydro monthly budget. He pays $180.00 per month. I
pay $175.00. Yes $5.00 less than his.
I have a cathedral ceiling over half the house. That was the reason
for going with more insulation than what was recommended. I put in as
much as the space allowed with room for ventilation.
As far as I'm concerned putting in the extra insulation was worth it.
Not just in heating bills, but in comfort. The house I'm in now is by
far the most comfortable house I've ever spent any length of time in.
How much would you be willing to add to your HVAC annual costs to say
Heating and A/C costs will not go down in our lifetimes. They keep
raising the recommended R values as heating costs go up. Where will it
end? Your guess is as good as mine. I can remember when R12 was the
recommendation for attic insulation around here. When it was raised to
R20 there were some who said you would never get your money back using
that much insulation. R20 became R40 now its R60. No doubt they will
say R80 in another ten years.
yes better insulation is a good thing
but if the attic insulation is say R40 and the walls are say R20 and
you have say $200 to invest in better insulation, you are MUCH better
off using that $200 to improve the walls and not the attic.
You have to find the weakest link and improve that.
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