One of the most cost effective ways to improve energy efficiency and comfort in your home is to seal and insulate the shell. Home insulation is also known as the envelope, sealing and insulating the outer walls, doors, windows, ceiling and floors, can save an estimated 20% on heating and cooling bills.
Home Insulation & Sealing Recommendations:
- HVAC contractors use special diagnostic tools that help pinpoint hidden air leaks in your home to be sealed.
- Insulation keeps the heat in during the winter months and out in the summer.
- HVAC contractors can often advise you how much insulation is enough.
- Seal air leaks throughout the home to stop drafts.
- Choose high-efficiency windows when replacing windows.
- Once your envelope is sealed, have a qualified technician check your combustion appliances (gas- or oil-fired furnace, water heater, and dryer) for proper ventilation.
Insulation keeps the heat where you want it.
- Common types of insulation are fiberglass, which comes in batt or blown form, cellulose, rigid foam board, and spray foam. A radiant barrier is a reflective insulation, another energy saving insulating product for hot, sunny climates.
- Comfort and lower energy bills are the end result when insulation, along with home sealing, are correctly installed.
- Insulation is labeled by R-vaules. The R stands for resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value the more the heat can resist it. Different R-vaules are recommended throughout the country for basements, walls, attics, and crawlspaces. Again, it’s important to seal your house before insulating. Once the insulation is installed it may hide leaks and make them less accessible. Ensure that you get the best performance and savings from new insulation.
- Everywhere in the country, attics require the highest R-values. To get the biggest savings, this is the easiest place to add insulation. Here’s a tip to see if you have enough insulation in your attic. Is your insulation level with or below the attic floor joists? If so, you probably need to add more insulation. If you own an electric furnace, or if you live in the hottest or coldest climates, the R-values recommended are R-49. For other locations it’s R-38 or about 12-15 inches, depending on the insulation type.
- Many HVAC contractors are capable of helping you properly insulate your home.
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