Insulation Essentials and # 1 Material Worth the Investment
How much of your home’s energy bill is wasted?
Just take a guess.
Did you guess anywhere between 40%-60%?
According to the US Department of Energy about half of a home’s energy is wasted when it is under-insulated and improperly air-sealed.
How to reduce your energy bills
Insulating your home provides resistance to heat flow (including heat escape) and your heating and cooling costs could be reduced by at least $500 per year.
Do you know how well your home is insulated? If at all?
The lowdown on insulation
To help put the value or benefit of insulating your home into perspective, it is important to understand how insulation actually works.
Insulation works by providing resistance to heat flow, which involves three basic mechanisms:
* Most common insulation materials that work by simply slowing conductive heat flow.
Regardless of the mechanism, heat flows from warmer to cooler until there is no longer a temperature difference.
For example, in your home, heat flows directly from all heated living spaces to adjacent unheated attics, garages, basements, and even to the outdoors. This might explain why it is always cooler downstairs.
Heat flow can also move indirectly through interior ceilings, walls, and floors--wherever there is a difference in temperature.
How do you know if your home has enough insulation?
According to the International Energy Conservation Codes (IECC) most homes that are 10-years or older do not have enough insulation.
It is true that your remodeler’s job is to give you what you want while complying with the building codes. However, when it comes to insulation, your remodeler is only required to address the insulation on walls, ceilings, and floors that are opened up.
What does that mean?
That means that if only half of your home’s walls have the sheetrock removed, then only half of your home’s insulation is fixed.
What are your best options when it comes to insulation when you start a remodeling project?
There are many types of insulation on the market right now, and in order to choose the best type of insulation, you should first determine the following:
‘An insulating material’s resistance to conductive heat flow is measured or rated in terms of its thermal resistance or R-value -- the higher the R-value, the greater the insulating effectiveness. - energy.gov
Other aspects you may want to consider:
The tip you were looking for…
Whether you are upgrading your attic, garage or the whole house, it is important and worth investing in not only the right type of insulation for your home BUT in the material for your insulation as well.
the type of insulation
First ask yourself, is your home properly air sealed? Since insulation plays a huge role (and while there are many different types of insulation), spray foam is one of the only reliable air sealing solutions available as it stops all 3 types of heat transfer. It allows you to seal common air leak areas like: electric outlets, windows, doors, HVAC ducts, framing connections etc. You can explore other types here.
You can use spray foam but consider filling in the rest of the area (or even use instead) with a material called rock wool.
For additional material options click here.
If you want to have a healthy indoor environment that is comfortable, and saves you money on utilities, then start with properly insulating your home.
Your remodel professional or builder should guide you on the important factors you will need to consider in relation to your remodel.
Remodel Reality Checklist
Download the free Remodel Reality Checklist to find out if you are ready to start a project.
Pathway is a full-service home remodeling company focused on the creation of highly livable and functional spaces through smart design and eco-friendly, healthy, and energy efficient products and practices.