As energy costs rise and you find yourself struggling to provide heating and cooling for your home, you should consider upgrading or replacing insulation in order to save money. While the cost of performing these home improvements can be a bit pricey initially, the long-term savings which can result are well worth the initial expense and effort involved. Not only will adding good insulation to your home decrease your ongoing energy expenses but it will result in some significant tax credits for you as well.
If you live in an older home, you may need to upgrade all your insulation at some time in the near future in order to truly reap the full benefits. The insulation used in previous decades simply doesn’t have the same energy rating of newer materials, and many of the homes built after the 1970s don’t have insulation that is up-to-date with the most recent U.S. Department of Energy’s recommended standards.
Many custom home builders in the past and at present have saved themselves money by scrimping on the less obvious construction efforts. As insulation is not visible to a new homeowner, many companies save some cash in the construction process and increase their profit margin by using less than adequate insulation in the building of homes.
You may also find that the climate of the region in which your home resides actually requires different insulation from that which was once used. You may find it quite beneficial to add insulation or replace the existing insulation in various parts of the home. You can potentially improve the internal climate of the home in addition to decreasing the costs of your heating and cooling.
There are several ways you can decrease your energy costs and improve the overall quality of your home. The first and foremost method of accomplishing these tasks is to use a good insulation with a high energy-efficiency rating. Interior walls, external walls, attics, basements and crawl spaces are all important areas to consider for the addition or replacement of insulation.
If your attic has fiberglass, vermiculate or cellulose insulation, you should consider using spray foam instead. These other insulations have a tendency to decrease in efficiency over time as the material becomes more compact and less capable of preventing heat from escaping your home. As heat rises, much of the warm air in your home in the winter can escape through the ceilings and into the attic if there is an inadequate air barrier or insulation in the area.
The use of high efficiency spray foam, which fills in cracks to create a seamless air barrier, can greatly increase the ability of your home heating system to provide a comfortable internal temperature for the lowest possible, ongoing monetary expense. Insulating your interior walls will also help keep the interior of your home the temperature you desire. It will allow your air conditioner or heater to more effectively produce the indoor environment you want without having to work so hard. Poor insulation causes your heating or cooling system to work up to 10 times as hard as it might otherwise and can result in extremely high energy costs for you. Not to mention that overworking the system will cause it to need servicing more frequently.
With spray foam insulation, you can fill in all the small spaces and tiny gaps in various places throughout your home where heat can leak out in the cooler months and warm air can leach in during the hotter months. Don’t forget the areas in your basement and crawl spaces that should be insulated. Most homes have numerous locations, especially in unfinished basements or crawl spaces, where heat escapes or enters the home. Insulating these spaces will increase the overall efficiency of your home heating and cooling systems and save you money in the long run.
You should also pay close attention to the areas around all your windows and external doors. Insulating the inside of walls around window and door frames will reduce the likelihood of heat transfer. The windows themselves should also be addressed in order to maximize home energy efficiency. Consider replacing old windows, installing weather stripping, and using thicker curtains that can block the heat of the sun in summer and cold wind in the winter.