Most homeowners know that there's a direct relationship between the quality of their insulation and the cost of their utility bills. But what they may not realize is that upgrading their insulation can make a tremendous difference in how much money they save over the course of a year. For homeowners who are interested in improving the energy efficiency of their homes, it's time to find out more about what it takes to get better insulation for the home.
Paying for an Audit
No homeowner should assume that their home has excellent insulation—even if they're living in a new construction home. Finding out where the air is going is the first place to start. And while it may cost a few hundred dollars to check the ductwork in a home energy audit, doing so can give a homeowner a better idea of where they should put their focus. This way, they don't waste money insulating a part of the home that doesn't need it. An auditor can either check just the ducts or they can check the whole home. Homeowners can ask a trusted professional which type of test they need to learn more about the inefficiencies in their home.
Space By Space
From the bypasses to the attic to the ceilings, homeowners should prioritize the biggest problem areas first. Even the walls of a home can contribute to up to 35% of all lost air. Homeowners also need to consider the shape and size of each room before they choose a type of insulation. Rooms that feature vaulted ceilings will require a different strategy than rooms with low ceilings. Homeowners may also need to think outside the box too when it comes to the type of insulation they choose. For example, those with chimneys may want to put in sheet metal to form a barrier between the brickwork and the actual chimney.
Check the Grade
All insulation is given a grade, with higher numbers correlating to thicker insulation. But not all homeowners need to buy extremely thick insulation. If homeowners live in a mild climate, they may only need a medium-grade to effectively insulate their home. In addition, homeowners also need to be aware of the ventilation of their home when they choose an insulation. Poor ventilation due to thick insulation can lead to rapidly spreading fires or other hazards.
For those trying to decide between foam sealant and loose-fill, there are a few points to consider:
- Loose-fill is inexpensive and efficient, but it's also laborious to install.
- Foam sealant is more expensive but easier to install. Plus, it expands to fill the more difficult to reach corners in the home.
It's not always recommended for Suncrest homeowners to install the insulation on their own. It can put homeowners in precarious situations where they can fall or otherwise hurt themselves trying to reach the deepest, darkest corners. Installers need to understand everything from ventilation to basic home building, plus they'll need to know when to use certain products, like fire-blocking sealants, that can make the home safer from catastrophes. Even experienced DIY homeowners will often call a pro for this type of job.
If a homeowner feels they're spending too much a month on energy, then better home insulation is what they need to keep their utility bills down. Understanding the options is the best place for homeowners to start, so they can start making the right moves.