I am a home improvement addict. Just ask my husband. So, over the next few posts, I am going to write some of my research I have gathered on several projects that I have or will be doing to my personal house.
It’s not really something we think about but there are many advantages to insulating your home. Proper insulation reduces energy costs. A well-insulated home does not gain or lose heat as quickly so it is easier to maintain a comfortable temperature. The retention of conditioned air lowers the demand on the heating and cooling systems. This reduces operating costs and extends the life of the system.
Based on the suggestions nationally, we are in the area One, and that puts us with R-values for our roof at R49, Walls-R28 and Floors- R25. The R-value is the measure of a material’s ability to resist heat conduction. The greater the material’s R-value, the better it performs as an insulator. Doing some investigating and seeing if your home is properly insulated is well worth the investment and will have a positive effect not only on your utility bills and life of your heating and cooling units.
The materials you will use to insulate your home will depend on the type of installation. The two that are common in our area are Cellulose and Fiberglass.
Cellulose insulation is a recycled, organic, loose-fill insulation blown into walls and attics. It is usually composed of recycled newspaper which has been treated with a flame retardant.
Fiberglass roll insulationis a manufactured fibrous insulation. Roll insulation is available in short batts for use in tight spaces. Roll insulation is also available with a vapor barrier (faced insulation), without a vapor barrier (un-faced insulation) or completely wrapped in plastic sheathing for itch-free installation.
The four major areas in a home that use insulation are the Attic, Exterior Walls, Garage and Crawlspace.
Insulating Your Attic In most homes, the attic is the hottest part of the house during the summer. Without adequate insulation, the extreme heat generated there transfers into the living space of the home and increases the demand on the air conditioning system. During the winter, inadequate insulation in the attic can cause heat loss and overwork the heating system. Properly insulating your attic with either roll or cellulose insulation reduces the rate of heat transfer and stretches your energy dollars.
Insulating Your Exterior Walls Since the walls in most homes represent more exterior surface area than the floors or ceilings, they also present more opportunity to lose and gain heat. Protect yourself and your home from the cold of winter and the heat of summer with adequate insulation. Although cellulose insulation can be used to insulate exterior walls, it is best to leave that job to the professionals. However, installing roll insulation in interior walls is a simple project most homeowners can complete themselves.
Insulating Your Garage More and more homeowners are using their garages as extensions of their living space, as children’s play areas, workshops, hobby areas, laundry rooms and more. As the activity in the garage increases, so does the need to maintain a constant, comfortable temperature in this space. For the attic, walls and crawlspace you can use the same techniques outlined above to increase the comfort level in your extended living space. But, there is one more, often overlooked, space in your garage where you can increase insulation value and energy efficiency – the garage door.
As with any project, if you decide to do the work yourselves, please remember to wear protective gear. Not only can insulation be itchy, it can also be harmful to the eyes and you don’t want to ingest it. These sound so obvious, but I have been in hurry before, or just cutting corners so I’m sure it can happen to anyone. Safety first!