How Insulation Saves You Money And Provides Comfort?
49% of a home’s energy is spent on cooling and heating as per the US Department of Energy. One of the major reasons for energy bill to spike during the summer months is because a home is not properly insulated. Well-insulated Bay Area homes are the best way to keep the power bill down.
Insulation works towards reducing the transfer of heat in and out of the home. It can be in the form of polystyrene, fiberglass, and mineral wool among other things.
How Does it Work?
Insulation works on a straightforward principle. It traps tiny air pockets to slow down the movement of heat into the house in summers. The same principle works in reverse in winters. The performance of a home’s insulation is measured in ‘R-value’.
Cost of Home Insulation Vs. Energy Savings
Many people balk at the expense of installing quality installation. However, the energy savings pay off for the cost of insulation in the long run. According to the EPA, 15% heating and cooling costs can be saved by the average homeowner by adding insulation in crawl spaces, attic and basement rim joists.
For the average homeowner, this is $200 in savings each year. Savings increase by 20% for colder regions in the country. The average insulation costs about $0.20 to $0.50 per square foot. You can do the math to determine that upgrading your home’s insulation will add to the overall savings.
Well-insulated homes add to the overall value of your home as well. You would be able to get a better market value. In fact, recent studies suggest that homeowners get at least the break-even return on investment by installing fiberglass insulation in the attic. You may be eligible for tax incentives as well that can help towards financing the upgrade.
Installing New Insulation
90% single family homes in the United States are under-insulated as per the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA). Chances are high that your home may also be in need of some work. In particular, homes built before 1960 are vulnerable.
You should evaluate the existing insulation in terms of thickness and type to determine whether it is up to mark. You would need to compare the R-value of your insulation as per the US Department of Energy’s recommendations in your particular location.
Few ways to do this is by looking at unfinished ceilings and walls. You should check if they are insulated. You should also remove electrical outlet covers and poke around the wall cavity. Do not do this if you are not comfortable around electrical fittings.
There are several physical signs that can indicate the insulation to be poor and outdated:
Does the temperature in your home differ greatly from one room to the next? This could signal an issue with one part of the house.
Are your power bills high when cooling or heating the home?
Does your rooftop get icicles in the winter? This is a potential sign of an attic that is inadequately insulated.
You should check for signs of air leakage in the form of drafts. This can be around the dryer vent or windows.
For best results, you should get a professional to conduct a whole-home energy assessment.