For optimal energy efficiency, your home should be insulated from the roof to the foundation.. A well-sealed home, coupled with the right amount of insulation, can make a real difference on your utility bills. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, sealing air leaks and adding insulation can save up to 10 percent on your annual energy bills. Insulation helps keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. A well-insulated home helps you avoid higher energy bills.
Adding insulation in the attic is an investment that adds comfort to your home and money to your wallet. It is more cost-effective to add insulation during construction than to retrofit it after the house is finished, but almost all homes can benefit from additional insulation. Yours might be one of them if you’re experiencing drafty rooms, inconsistent temperatures between rooms and higher heating and cooling bills.
Insulation works best when air is not moving around or through it, making it very important to seal air leaks before installing insulation. It is also important to seal gaps in floors and walls around pipes and electrical wiring, and have your duct work inspected and repaired.
If your home experiences any of these problems, it might be a good candidate for an attic insulation project:
• Drafty rooms
• Hot or cold ceilings, walls, or whole rooms; uneven temperature between rooms
• High heating or cooling bills
A quick way to see if you need more insulation is to look across your uncovered attic floor. If your insulation is level with or below the attic floor joists, you probably need to add more. The recommended level for most attics is R-38 (or about 12-15 inches, depending on the insulation type). If your attic has no insulation, you may decide to insulate the underside of the roof with spray foam instead of covering the attic floor. It’s best to hire an experienced contractor for this task.
If your attic has enough insulation yet your home still feels drafty, too cold in winter or too warm in summer, you may need to add insulation to the exterior walls. This is more expensive and usually requires a contractor, but it may be worth the cost in lower utility bills. If you replace the exterior siding on your home, consider adding insulation at the same time.
Don’t overlook another area in your home where energy can be saved – the ductwork of the heating and cooling system. If your ducts run through unconditioned spaces in your home (such as the attic or crawlspace), they should be insulated and sealed with mastic tape. Sealing leaks and adding insulation can also help reduce noise from outside; prevent pollen, dust and insects from entering your home; and provide better humidity control.
Home improvements like adding insulation can be costly, but WFEC’s Energy Efficiency Loan Program can help ease the burden for energy efficiency upgrades. West Florida Electric Cooperative (WFEC) offers an affordable financing program to help cover the costs of energy efficiency upgrades that make your home more comfortable and save you money.
To find out more about our loan program, visit www.westflorida.coop or contact our energy services department by calling 800-342-7400.