Want to save 10 to 20 percent a year on your cooling costs, increase the value of your home and make your home more comfortable? Start at the top.
Air can escape (or enter) your home through leaks in the attic, outer walls, windows, doors, and unheated garages. You may even be losing air through the small gaps around electrical outlets on exterior walls.
You can easily find these air leaks by using an incense stick. Move the smoking stick around the area. Any air movement will move the drifting smoke.
Once you find them, add caulking or weatherstripping to seal those leaks, especially around doors and windows. Another low-cost way to save is to add foam gasket covers behind electrical outlet cover plates. You can also caulk into the gap around the flush-mounted box.
While properly insulating a home during construction is always most cost-effective, many existing homes can benefit from some added insulation, too. Yours might be one of them if you’re experiencing drafty rooms, inconsistent temperature between rooms, and higher heating and cooling bills.
Insulation is available in several common types. These include cellulose, fiberglass (in blown or batt forms), rigid foam board, and spray foam. We recommend foam or cellulose insulation with an R-value of at least R-38 in the following areas of your home:
Attic: This is one of the most important spaces to insulate, especially if you currently have less than an R-30 equivalent value. Repair and seal any roof air leaks first. Insulate and seal the attic access, too, especially if it’s located in a part of your home that you heat and cool.
Ductwork: Any ducts in unconditioned spaces should be sealed and insulated to prevent energy loss. For sealing minor air leaks and holes, especially at seams and joints, use duct mastic or other heat-approved tapes. For major repairs and duct insulation projects, call a qualified professional.
Exterior walls: Though it may require a contractor, adding insulation here can be worth it if your home still feels drafty after properly sealing and insulating your attic. Blow-in, wet spray cellulose, or injectable spray foam insulation can work, depending on access to the areas behind your walls.
Basement and floors above unheated areas: A properly insulated basement can save on energy bills while reducing moisture and insect problems. In new construction, insulation is added to the basement’s exterior walls. In an existing home, it is more practical to install insulation on interior walls. Remember to insulate the spaces between the ceiling of any unheated rooms and the floors above them, too.
By helping you reduce energy use and make your home more energy-efficient, we’re connecting you to savings.