Only 10% of Americans have adequately insulated homes. That means the remaining 90% of us are paying more in energy bills than we could be and have to deal with such issues as discomfort and uneven temperatures in different rooms.
Insulating all the critical areas in your home helps lower your energy costs and ensures comfort because all rooms in a well-insulated home have an even temperature. On top of that, proper insulation ensures your home lasts for generations by preventing long-term threats like infestation and moisture. This is why getting a proper home insulation inspection is important.
But you don’t have to insulate every corner of your home. If you’re wondering what areas of your home need insulation, this article highlights eight areas of your home that you should insulate to cut on your home energy bill. Let’s get to it, shall we?
The attic is arguably the most important area in your home to insulate. This is because air rises when heated. So, if you don’t have proper attic insulation, all your heated or conditioned air rises to the attic and gets out during colder months. You’ll find yourself heating your home all day, but it still can’t achieve or maintain the temperature you want, resulting in huge energy bills.
It also raises your energy bills during hotter months. As you try to cool the interior of your home, hot air gets into the attic from outside, causing you to use more energy to cool it down. That is why insulating your attic, especially its floor, is essential.
But before you start insulation, you need to assess the current insulation in the attic, clean up the space, ensure proper ventilation, as well as understand the different types of attic insulation options available. Lack of ventilation will cause dampness from condensation in wintertime, leading to a host of structure-threatening moisture problems.
If you have any vertical walls with the attic behind them, you should also insulate them. Additionally, if you are remodeling or building a new home, ensure any attic decking is raised above the ceiling joists to provide enough insulation space.
Finally, you can install a radiant barrier in your attic rafters to reduce summer heat gain and reduce your cooling costs.
Are you working on an attic conversion project? Visit our blog post to get a checklist of all the dos and don’ts when converting your attic into a living space.
You need to insulate the interior and exterior walls properly. Insulating the exterior walls keeps the conditioned air inside your home and prevents outside air from seeping inside. Insulating the interior of your walls ensures the whole house has a consistent temperature. You will no longer have one room hotter or colder than the others.
If you want to insulate the interior of an existing home, you should consider using blow-in fiberglass insulation (also called drill and fill) as it doesn’t cause much disturbance in a completed house. It is very effective, especially if you install it using the dense pack technique. If you’re remodeling, using batting insulation should work if your wall cavities are open.
Using batting insulation for your walls has the following advantages:
- It is flexible & can be installed between studs, rafters and joists blocks
- Can reduce the amount of energy required to heat and cool a home
If you install foam sheathing in place of OSB or plywood, you may need to brace or structurally reinforce your walls.
Besides lowering your energy bill, insulating your walls allows for some privacy because insulated walls are better at blocking sound.
If your walls and attic have enough insulation and proper air sealing, but you still feel too cold in the winter or too hot in the summer, the problem lies on the floor.
Even if heated air rises to the ceiling and attic, an uninsulated floor, especially in unheated rooms such as the garage, can absorb lots of heat flow. A telltale sign of inadequate floor insulation is cold or unevenly warm floors. If you notice this, you should insulate your floors immediately to cut down on your energy bills and walk comfortably around your home barefooted.
Before insulating the floor above an unconditioned garage, you should first seal all possible vents and sources of air leakage. Failing to do so increases the risk of contaminants such as car exhaust, paint, and solvents in the garage leaking into the conditioned space. To prevent cold air in the garage from ruining the insulation underneath the subfloor, you must install an air barrier.
By insulating your floors, you can reduce moisture, eliminate drafts, and retain the heated or cooled air. And just like insulating your walls, insulating your floor helps reduce noise, especially in multi-level homes where people live on different floors.
Whether your crawlspace is ventilated or unventilated, insulating it can help retain heat in your home, saving you lots of energy bills. It also protects your pipes from extremely cold or hot temperatures. Want to learn how to insulate your crawl space properly?
A common way to insulate unventilated crawl spaces is to seal the area and insulate the foundation walls instead of the floor between the house and the crawlspace. It allows the piping and ductwork to maintain a consistent temperature, whether it’s summer or winter.
Maintaining your crawlspace at an even temperature means your air conditioner can heat or cool the home faster. But you have to have an air barrier with this approach.
Insulating your basement can help lower your monthly power bill from heating and cooling your home and save you lots of money. You can add additional insulation to your basement anytime, whether it’s a new construction or an existing home. However, for an existing home, it is impractical to add insulation to the exterior of the basement walls, so you have to stick to interior insulation.
When insulating your basement, one feature you should be looking for in the type of insulation is moisture control because basements are notorious for problems with humidity, mold, and water intrusion.
Just like the attic, you shouldn’t leave out the ceiling when renovating because hot air rises. If you don’t insulate it, it is possible to lose all the conditioned air even if you have the attic insulated.
Insulating your ceiling is also essential because it prevents condensation from forming, which can lead to moisture-related problems such as mold. It also ensures even temperature distribution across your hme.
Most duct systems are associated with significant energy losses. If you are designing or building a new home, ensure you place the vents in a conditioned space. However, if you have an existing home and find that the ducts are not in a conditioned space, seal and insulate them properly. It will save you a lot on energy bills.
8. Windows and Doors
If your doors and windows don’t have built-in insulation, you can replace them with the appropriate ones for comfort and to save energy with better home efficiency. But you can achieve the same through sealing and caulking around doors and windows, both inside and out. You can also add a door sweep and weather stripping to seal any air leaks.
Types of Home Insulation
The different types of insulation have various applications. Several factors determine the best one for your home, but the most significant one is what your home is built out of. For example, you require different types of insulation for concrete brick walls and structural insulated panels.
The insulation comes in several forms, such as rigid foam, loose-fill material, and batts and rolls. Each is applied differently, so you must choose correctly to achieve your desired result. You must consider how the insulation you install interacts with other building components. Here are your options:
- Mineral/stone/rock wool
- Natural fibers such as sheep wool
- Reflective systems
- Cementitious foam
- Phenolic foam
- Polyethylene terephthalate (PET)
There are other types of insulation, but these are the most popular.
What is R-Value?
Insulation R-value measures the insulation material’s ability to resist heat traveling through it. The “R” stands for resistance. Each material has a different R-value.
The higher the R-value, the better the insulator restricts heat traveling through it. The best R-value for your home depends on the area you live in.
Let Professionals Do The Heavy-Lifting
Ensuring your home is adequately insulated is not just about lowering your energy bill; it is also about making your house comfortable enough, which is very important, especially if you are working from home. It also keeps moisture-related problems at bay.
Whether you’re looking for insulation services or attic cleaning in orange county
Attic construction has got you covered. We are the number 1 rated attic company in San Diego, with a dedicated team of trained and skilled insulation experts.
We begin our attic insulation by assessing whether it needs repair, cleaning, or decontamination. We then walk through what needs to be done before and after insulation. If you give us the go-ahead, we can clean, ventilate, and insulate your attic.
Contact us today for attic repair services and cleaning in San Diego, Orange County, and Phoenix.
- Energy Star. Recommended Home Insulation R-Values https://www.energystar.gov/campaign/seal_insulate/identify_problems_you_want_fix/diy_checks_inspections/insulation_r_values
- Construction Dive. Study: 90% of U.S. homes are under-insulated https://www.constructiondive.com/news/study-90-of-us-homes-are-under-insulated/406638/
Need some Assistance? Contact us today
Written By Joseph Sheiner
Joseph Sheiner is a construction industry professional with over 15 years of experience. He began his career in the insulation industry in 2012, and co-founded Attic Construction Inc in 2013. As CEO of the company, Joe oversees all operations and is in charge of training and product knowledge.
Under Joe’s leadership, Attic Construction has become the largest leading Attic Restoration Company in San Diego, Orange County and Phoenix. He has personally performed and supervised insulation work in over 7000 homes. He is certified by Owens Corning as a CEE (Certified Energy Expert) and is a licensed contractor by the CSLB.
Most recently, Joe has helped expand Attic Construction to two additional locations – Orange County and Phoenix. He is currently working on expanding to additional locations in the near future.
Great work! Our attic went from totally disgusting to pristine. They are courteous and professional and clean up after themselves.
-Karen L. Santee, CA
Andrew was very informative and helpful during the whole process. Excellent communication and his team did a great job. He came on Sunday and the work was done and completed by Tuesday. Highly recommend to anyone who is looking for a fair prices and great service.
– Joey E. San Diego, CA