For homeowners, there is no better way to ensure energy efficiency than choosing the best quality insulation for their homes. Either in the winter or summer months, there is no substitute for professionally installed quality insulation. Countless studies conducted by both Energystar and local energy companies show that insulation is key in both sealing out cold air in the winter and trapping air conditioning in the summer. Heating and cooling are responsible for approximately 50 to 70 percent of the energy used in the average American home, and according to a Harvard University study, homes as new as five to 10 years old make up the majority of America’s 46 million under insulated homes. Luckily for homeowners old and new, advances in technology have nullified the once soaring costs and prohibitive logistics of replacing insulation and increasing energy efficiency.
Chief among the technological advances behind the boom in insulation replacement is the development of insulation technologies which are not nearly as invasive as their forbears. One such insulation technique is the newly developed formulations of foam insulation, which can be directly injected into walls after small holes are drilled in the exterior. Foam insulation is especially effective at trapping energy efficiency due to it forming an air barrier, which eliminates thee need for additional weatherization techniques.
Another technique for increasing energy efficiency through insulation is installing blown insulation, which is an easy way to insulate a home from outside elements and can be applied evenly throughout a residence. Blown insulation is especially effective at increasing the energy efficiency of older homes due to the fact that it can be placed over preexisting fiberglass insulation. Fiberglass insulation itself is also an option due to its inherent affordability and previous prevalence throughout the insulation industry. Fiberglass is the most common insulating material and comes with a paper backing that aids in the blocking of moisture.
Attic insulation is especially key into ensuring an insulated and energy efficient home. The attic space itself helps prevent the loss of heat and proper insulation of this area ensures a home is the homeowner’s desired temperature. Though modern homes are more likely to have adequate amounts of attic insulation, homeowners should pay special attention to this area. Since the attic is such a key area, special attention needs to also be paid to the degradation of attic insulation materials. Fiberglass batts especially can be eaten by pests who lack another adequate food source and, because of the relative isolation of the attic, such loss of materials can go unnoticed until your dollars are leaking out of your house in the form of lost energy efficiency.
Estimates on the effectiveness of insulation have pegged the value of proper insulation at anywhere between 20 to 40 percent of your energy bill. Think of securing what could possibly be a 40% discount on your energy bill for investment in energy efficient insulation which comes with a warranty upwards of 50 years. And not only the savings are worth your initial investment, but also the comfort that a well insulated home will bring you. Instead of overpaying for an ineffective furnace in the winter or an overtaxed air conditioner in the summer, energy efficient insulation can keep you and your family comfortable.
However, it is easy as a homeowner to over do insulation, and a “more is better” attitude is the surest way to do so. Insulation can do nothing for a home with cracks or gaps along fixtures or openings, which can slowly but surely rob your house of its cool or warm air and eventually rob you of both energy efficiency and hard earned dollars on your energy bill. That’s why it’s important to not only fully insulate your home, but also to repair any cracks in or along our home. It is also crucial to avoid insulation blocking vents, which in turns reduces the air flow and negatively impacts the energy efficiency of your home. Ensure you are working smarter and not just harder to insulate your home, and consult an experienced insulation professional who can best guide you in meeting the energy efficiency goals you and your family have set out.
Of course, deciding which insulation technique is best for your home is a decision you should discuss with professionals experienced in using insulation to maximize energy efficiency. Despite the need to protect your pocketbook, understand that when an experienced professional offers the insulation option they believe to be best, they are making the recommendation understanding that high quality insulation—which is often protected by warranties of up to 50 years—will save you money in the long run by reducing your energy bills and also give you the added benefit of a home cooled or warmed to your exact specifications. Proper insulation can also lead to further saving by way of taxes. Energy efficiency can garner you tax credits which could total upwards of $800, so it is important that you view your spending on insulation as an investment. Saving money both on energy bills and through possible tax credits can certainly go a long way to giving you the peace of mind you seek after your initial spending. As with most expenditures associated with home ownership go, you get what you pay for and pay for what you get. What may be viewed today as a prohibitive expenditure could eventually pay for itself many times over.