Adding insulation to an existing home helps homeowners save money while improving comfort. Dependable Construction recommends having a home energy audit done, this can help you find areas to reduce heating and cooling costs!
As homeowners approach the coldest part of winter, many homeowners are preparing for the highest energy bills of the year. Unless homeowners heat their home with a wood-burning stove, chances are that insulation may be on your mind. But regardless of how important a well-insulated home is to heating costs, it is equally as important in protecting the home from high cooling bills during the summer months. And as if that isn’t enough, properly insulated homes are more protected against rot, decay and mold.
While many Eco-friendly homeowners have complained about the use of standard insulation products, prolonging the life span of an old house is far more ecologically sound than building a new one in the current housing market.
Here are 5 of the easiest ways a homeowner can go about insulating their home;
- Start with the attic, crawlspace and walls – In the wintertime, the most important way to insulate your home is in the attic. Since heat rises, it is more likely to escape through the top of the house. The same rule applies when dressing for a cold day: always wear a hat and you won’t lose heat through the top of your head. A contractor like Dependable Construction can inspect your attic or crawlspace for leaks and recommend the right type of insulation to use.
- Windows don’t always get much attention when insulating a home, but they are a very important part. In fact they account for about 25% of heat that is lost in the home. Energy panels are the least expensive way to insulate, or try some quilted drapes for extra warmth during cold weather months.
- Check all doors, some may be drafty, pick up a weather-stripping kit for under $20 will help stop the draft. The same method you use for entry doors can also be used on storm doors.
- Check the chimney, make sure it isn’t leaking hot air. If so invest in a better flue damper and a chimney balloon, but don’t forget to close off the fireplace. Get an insulated glass door for the front of the fireplace.
- Lastly, don’t forget the caulking. Surprisingly, warm air can leak out through your electrical outlets and even your plumbing fixtures. Foam insulation and caulking can usually solve these problems, but be sure your home also has enough ventilation. Take the time to speak with a contractor who is familiar with the latest home insulation solutions.
Why add insulation to your home?
Adding insulation in an existing home saves money and improves comfort. Not only will it reduce your heating and cooling costs and likely pay for itself in short order, it will make your home more inviting and livable.
Will insulation make a difference in a newer home?
Dependable Construction is a trusted home improvement specialist in Dayton, Ohio, this means we get asked this question frequently. Our answer is always something like this: unless your home was specially constructed for energy efficiency, homeowners can always reduce your energy bills by adding more insulation. New homes will often develop drafts in some of the strangest places after the house has settled.
How do I know if I should add insulation?
To determine whether you should add insulation, first you will need to find out how much you already have and where it is located. This kind of inspection is best conducted by a qualified home energy auditor or contractor. Some companies offer this as a service when installing new doors and windows. Ideally, you will want to have a whole-house energy assessment completed before determining which areas are in need of insulation and sealing. Keep in mind that just because you live in an older home does not mean you need more insulation. While it’s true that many older homes have less insulation than homes built today, it’s also likely that the previous owners added more insulation over the years.
Inspecting and Evaluating Your Insulation
A qualified contractor Like Dependable Construction can check the walls, floors and attics near an unheated space such as the garage or basement. Exterior walls can be inspected by using an electrical outlet. First turn the power off to the outlet, then remove the cover and shine a flashlight into the crack around the outlet box. This will show if insulation is there and how thick it is. You might need to pull out some of the insulation to determine which type it is. Repeat this process by checking the outlets on all floors.
Determining Recommended R-Values
When you learn more about the insulation that has been used in your home it will be easier to determine the R-values. These values can be applied to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Zip Code Insulation Calculator to figure out the amount of insulation that should be added to achieve maximum energy efficiency. The calculator will provide an estimate of the insulation cost, as well as the rate of return on your home improvement dollars.