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Insulating Your Home for Winter

Aug 29, 2013

For those living in colder regions, the onset of autumnal weather is usually a sign that winter is coming, which means you can expect higher heating bills in the mail! However, you can reduce that monthly bill by ensuring your home is well insulated to keep the cold out and the warm air inside where it should be.

Insulating your home is not a big deal as far as home maintenance is concerned. In fact it is an easy solution to reducing your heating and cooling costs. The U.S Department of Energy states that on average, you will save up to 20 percent on your home’s heating and cooling costs by adding insulation to attics, floors, and crawl spaces by reducing unwanted air leaks.

Knowing where to add insulation requires a simple energy audit (also known as an energy assessment). This includes a visual check of your attic, exterior walls, crawl space, and any areas where there could be an exchange of air with the outdoors.

There are three main types of insulation used in most houses.

  • Batt and roll: This insulation material is made of fiberglass, and is ideal for attics and to fill spaces between wall studs.
  • Spray foam insulation: This is a great method of insulating oddly shaped areas or small openings. The foam expands when applied to create a tight seal. It is a very effective type of insulation but can be quite messy if a person lacks the experience of working with the tools needed to apply the foam.
  • Loose fill: This type of insulation is used to fill areas with little or no traffic. It can be used in attics and crawl spaces as a filler between floor and ceiling joists.

While insulating your home is an effective way to reduce your energy bills, you should also take care when applying new insulation to ensure you have the correct ‘R’ value for your region. The ‘R’ value is a rating that determines the insulating material’s ability to reduce heat flow. A greater ‘R’ value means a product has an increased ability to reduce heat flow.

Some homeowners prefer to apply insulation themselves. The batt and roll type is the easiest method of application, while spray foam requires specialized tools and a knack for doing the job in the best way possible.

You can contact a certified RESNET professional to help you decide where your home needs additional insulation.

While you may be the home handy-man type and would like to try it yourself, many people will need the services of a professional contractor to ensure the job is done right.