So, You Want to Insulate Your Home: Choosing the best Insulation Material (Part 1)
Properly insulating your home is one of the most effective energy efficient upgrades you can make, in fact, Remodeling Magazine named it the home improvement project that has the largest return on investment. Why insulation? Believe it or not, “90% of existing American homes are under-insulated” (RESNET). This means that 90% of U.S. homes are wasting energy, money, and are not as comfortable as they could be. A poorly insulated house causes homeowners to lose the conditioned air they are paying to heat and cool, in turn making your HVAC unit run more frequently, which results in more wear and tear on your unit. You may notice symptoms such as:
- Some rooms being hotter or colder than others
- Your HVAC unit running frequently
- High energy bills
- Needing to use fans or portable heaters
All of these symptoms are signs that you may need to add insulation to your home. There is a lot to consider when you decide to insulate your home such as: What are you trying to achieve when insulating your home? Where in your home are you insulating? What material should you use? Where will you get the best bang for your buck? Where do you start?
Before you insulate your home, one step should always take place first. Air Sealing. RESNET states that you can save us to 30% on your energy costs just by air sealing your home. Not only are air leaks a major cause of energy loss, but they contribute to uneven temperatures, moisture problems, and poor air quality in your home.
Air leaks in and out of your home through natural openings that occur during construction, such as plumbing, electrical, HVAC, and other utility protrusions. Air sealing your home can cut energy costs, increase comfort, and improve indoor air quality. Even with proper insulation, air can and will pass through it allowing the conditioned air you pay to heat and cool to escape and be lost. Even though proper insulation helps, it does not eliminate uneven temperatures and does not make your home as energy-efficient
as it could be. Combining air sealing and proper insulation can reduce your energy costs and make your home more comfortable.