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Become Your Own Home Inspector

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Roadmap to Good Home Insulation and Energy Saving

by Mia Farrel on May 8, 2014

If you walk through your home and catch a chill on a fall day, it's time to consider the structure's insulation. Insulation provides a literal blanket against cold and heat from the outside. Commonly stuffing walls, ceilings and some floors, proper insulation reduces energy loss and saves money on monthly electrical bills. There are several factors to weigh when you want to improve your home insulation and energy savings.

Attention to R-Values

All insulation has a specific R-value. This numerical indicator tells you if the insulation works against freezing temperatures or simply a tropical breeze in the night. You must analyze your region's temperature and match it to an insulation that will save you money over time. For example, Florida residents can use R-value 13 to 15 insulation because they rarely have severe cold. Alaska, in contrast, mostly uses R-value 13 to 21. Energy savings starts with the right insulation for the region. If you use a lightweight insulation in a snowy location, you'll be using the heater excessively, causing high energy bills. Consult with a contractor if you're unsure of your R-value needs.

Spray and Blanket Insulation

After determining the R-value, you must decide between blankets and spray insulation. You'll find the standard blanket insulation to be an inexpensive choice, but it doesn't serve small areas well. For good home insulation, save the blanket insulation for long walls with large interior spaces. Spray difficult areas, including the attic, with spray insulation. It conforms to the area's shape, making it an efficient energy saver. It's even possible to insulate your home with an injected insulation. To avoid tearing out whole walls, use an injected insulation to fill the interiors with barely any damage to the drywall. The key is to cover all spaces to stop frigid or hot air from filtering into the home.

Look Up And Down

Insulation doesn't just stop at the walls. Climb up to the attic to insulate the floor and walls. Because a lot of heat is lost in the attic, use at least an R-30 insulation to truly trap conditioned air in the home. You'll see a significant difference in your energy savings with a completely insulated attic. For homes with a large space under the first floor, including a basement or garage, consider insulating your first floor. Cold air and fumes emanate from the uninsulated space below the first floor. Inject or spray insulation into your floor, if possible. Aside from conserving energy, you have a great selling point with the insulated first floor.

Upgrade Windows

Your windows are one of the hardest areas to insulate because of their frame and wall connections, along with their moving panes. The best windows that provide top insulation are double pane models using trapped gas, such as argon. You'll still have natural sunlight pouring into the home when desired, but the double glass design stops wind drafts from pouring through. Some glass even has some coating to it to reflect ultraviolet sunlight away from the home.

Window and Door Drafts

Add weather-strips to your windows and doors to stop those frustrating drafts from wafting inward through frame cracks. When the door or window is closed, you want it to form a veritable barrier to cold or hot winds. Even add a door sweep to stop drafts under front or side doors. The best doors for insulating the home are front doors constructed of solid wood or metal. Winds almost bounce off of these doors to save on energy costs.

Considering Hot Water Heaters and Plumbing

Home insulation isn't always about walls, windows or doors. Try wrapping your hot water heater in an approved insulation jacket to save on heating costs. Even some hot water pipes can be insulated as well, allowing you to save water and energy at the same time.

Good home insulation takes strategic observation of your home's internal structure. Add key insulation to the home today to see savings add up on the next monthly bills.

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Author

Mia Farrel

Mia Farrel

Mia has a history as a fashion designer for over 10 years, recently she moved on to interior design and DIY concept ideas for home and garden decoration.

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