Can you recall the feeling when you walk into a house and it feels cozy? That’s what proper insulation can do for you. It’s one of the most efficient ways to make your home more comfortable and energy efficient, which translates to lower utility bills and a lesser environmental impact. If you live in a humid subtropical region like Brownsburg, where temperatures range from 85°F (29°C) in July to 19°F (-7°C) in January, proper insulation becomes especially crucial. And if you plan on selling your house, know that adequate insulation increases your overall property value by 2-6%. So, if you’re willing to capitalize on Brownsburg’s real estate market, which witnessed an 11.7% increase in house prices in 2023, focus on proper insulation.
Besides, why put up with a drafty, inefficient home when you can transform your house into a well-insulated sanctuary? Follow these essential tips to properly insulate your house:
1. Insulate Roof and Attic
The roof is one of the most important areas of your home to insulate. Heat rises, and much of the warmth generated in your house will escape through an uninsulated roof.
Adding insulation to your roof can improve your home’s energy efficiency and reduce energy bills. If you already have your roof insulated, but it won’t perform effectively, other issues might be to blame. For instance, moisture and structural damage in your roof can lead to insulation issues.
Calling an expert to identify the problems is crucial. At times, minor repairs won’t solve the problem and necessitate roof replacement. If you live in Brownsburg, look up Brownsburg Roof Replacement experts to get your roof inspected and replaced.
Expert roofers will also inspect your attic for any holes or cracks leading to the outside and seal them to prevent air leaks.
2. Conduct an Energy Audit
Conducting an energy audit of your home is the best way to find out where you’re losing heating and cooling.
- Walk through your entire house, room by room, checking for any gaps or cracks in the walls, attic, basement, windows, and doors.
- Check the basement or crawlspace for proper insulation. Houses should have at least 10 to 15 inches of insulation. Add more insulation to areas with little or no insulation.
- Look for air leaks around pipes, wires, the attic access door or hatch, and the sill plate. Seal them up with caulk, weatherstripping, or spray foam.
- Inspect windows and doors for air leaks. Hold a lit incense stick around the edges of windows and doors on a windy day. If the smoke streams sideways, caulk or weatherstrip around the edges to seal the leaks.
- Check where utilities like pipes, wires, and vents enter the attic, basement, or crawlspace. Seal gaps and holes to stop warm or cool air from escaping.
- Consider getting an energy audit to uncover potential savings on energy bills.
3. Seal and Insulate Ductwork
Sealing and insulating your ductwork is one of the best ways to improve the energy efficiency of your HVAC system. Ducts that are uninsulated or have leaks can reduce the effectiveness of your heating and cooling systems.
- Inspect your ductwork for cracks, seams, or holes, and use duct sealant or mastic and weatherstripping tape to seal them.
- Areas where ducts meet vents, like the furnace, attic access doors, or the basement, are common culprits for leaks, so pay close attention to these areas.
- Sealing leaks in your ductwork can improve the efficiency of your HVAC system by up to 20 percent.
- Add insulation to reduce heat loss if your ducts run through unheated areas like the attic or crawlspace.
- Wrap your ducts in fiberglass insulation, duct wrap, or install a pre-insulated flex duct to add insulation.
- Aim for an R-value of 6 to 8 for the best energy savings.
4. Weatherize Doors and Windows
Weathering your doors and windows is one of the best ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency. Gaps and cracks in these areas can let hot or cold air in and out, reducing the effectiveness of your insulation and HVAC system.
To weatherize doors and windows
- Install weatherstripping tape, sweeps, or seals around the edges and thresholds of doors to create an airtight barrier while allowing the door to open and close properly.
- Use caulk, weatherstripping, or window sealing tape to seal gaps between the window frame and the wall, reduce air leaks, and help with insulation.
- Install plastic sheeting over windows for added insulation during the winter. Cut the sheeting to size, secure the edges with double-sided tape, and use a hair dryer to shrink and tighten the plastic.
- Add a door sweep or threshold seal along the bottom edge of doors or windows that lead to the attic, basement, or garage to prevent air exchange between these areas and living spaces.
- Replace older windows with energy-efficient double-pane windows to significantly improve the comfort of your home and reduce heating/cooling costs.
5. Insulate Water Heater
Insulating your water heater is one of the easiest ways to improve efficiency and lower energy bills.
Consider purchasing a UL-rated insulation blanket or jacket to improve your water heater’s efficiency. Once you have it, install it according to the directions, and secure it with tape or straps. If you have a gas water heater, remember to leave the bottom, burner, and flue exposed for proper ventilation.
Additionally, you can use a water heater insulation and heat shield behind the unit to further contain heat. Insulating the first 3-6 feet of hot water pipes with pipe sleeves or heat tape can also help reduce heat loss.
6. Plug Your Chimney When Not in Use
When not in use, your chimney can be a significant source of heat loss in your home. That’s because warm air from within your home can exit through the chimney, while cold air from outside can enter through the same hole. You may stop this heat loss and raise your home’s energy efficiency by plugging the chimney while it’s not in use.
A chimney balloon, also known as a flue blocker, is a simple and effective method of sealing the chimney hole. These devices are composed of long-lasting materials like rubber or plastic and are simple to install and remove as needed.
Although insulation may not be the most exciting home improvement project, it can benefit greatly. Insulating your home can lower your energy bills, reduce your environmental impact, and make your living space more comfortable throughout the year. So why wait? Start insulating today and create a cozy, cost-efficient home you’ll love spending time in.