Insulate Your Home for Comfort and Energy Savings
A lack of insulation is a major problem with today’s homes, often causing homeowners to lose heating and cooling energy. Insulation issues cause temperature and comfort control problems, as well as contribute to higher energy bills due to energy loss. Adding insulation to your home is a home improvement project that will pay for itself in increased energy savings.
Where should insulation be added?
The most common areas where homes are lacking insulation is in the attic, between walls, floors above unconditioned areas such as a garage or basement, and in crawlspaces and basements. Heating and cooling energy can escape through these areas if insulation levels are not up to par. A professional insulation installer will assess these areas to determine how much insulation should be added to bring your home to the recommended R-value, a measure of insulation’s thermal resistance.
Types of insulation
When adding insulation to your home, there are a few material options which can be used to raise levels in varying areas of the home. They include:
- Fiberglass bats: This type of insulation is a leading choice in new construction but is also useful in existing homes. For unfinished attics, fiberglass insulation can be easily fitted between beams to raise insulation levels.
- Blown-in insulation: Blown-in insulation is an excellent choice for insulating areas in existing homes. Made of cellulose, mineral wool, or fiberglass, it can be blown into wall cavities and over attic floors.
- Spray foam: Spray foam insulation can also be used to insulate wall cavities and attic floors. It can also be used to insulate around penetrations, such as pipes or vents which run to the exterior of the home.
How to boost insulation performance
Simply adding insulation to your home won’t totally eliminate energy loss, but it is an excellent step in improving energy efficiency. When installing new insulation at home, you should also perform air sealing measures. Caulking around problem areas where air loss occurs, such as gaps in door and window frames, will prevent air from escaping the home. Duct sealing is another home improvement task that should be performed, as it works to prevent energy loss as air moves through the duct system.