One of the best ways you can prepare your home for the cooler months is to make sure that you have proper insulation throughout your home. However, like many homeowners, you may be unsure exactly what type of insulation your home needs, and how much to install. Here’s a quick insulation 101 primer.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Savers website, which includes detailed and helpful information about all manner of energy-related topics, describes insulation as providing resistance to heat flow. Heat flow is when warm air moves to cooler areas of your home. In the summer, this means that warm air will seep in from the outside through doors and windows. Meanwhile, in the cooler months, warm air will escape to unheated portions of your home, such as attached garages or attics, or even leak to the outside air. By installing insulation properly, it can reduce the amount of energy that your furnace and cooling system uses, thereby saving you more money on utility costs.
You will want to apply insulation to all areas of you home, including the foundation, exterior walls, ductwork, crawlspaces, and in the attic, as these are the areas where air seeps in and leaks out.
Next, you’ll need to determine what type of insulation you want to use. There are many different options available. For example, if you want to insulate your doors, foundation or unfinished walls, you will want to pick natural fibers or fiberglass, as each will do the job well. There are also products like spray foam that can help you touch up areas with existing insulation or install it in hard-to-reach spots, such as your attic.
Additionally, two factors that you want to consider during installation are air sealing and moisture control. It’s important to control moisture because it affects your home’s overall structure, not to mention many of the valuables that you have inside. Too much moisture can cause mold to thrive, which can damage wood, furniture, leather, and electronics. Because Northern Arkansas has a hot, humid climate, you will want to use vapor barriers, which reduce the amount of vapor material can absorb.
Furthermore, air sealing is an excellent way to reduce energy costs by reducing the amount of air that enters and escapes your home. By using weatherstripping and caulk around windows and doors, you’ll conserve energy and money.
For more expert advice on insulation, contact the experts at Paschal Heat, Air, Geothermal and Generators at 479-751-0195. We have been proudly serving the northwest Arkansas area for more than 30 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Northwest Arkansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about insulation and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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