House leaks waste energy, but insulation can boost it
Not everyone lives in a climate that requires their homes to be fully insulated, and not every type of house construction needs the same amount of insulation. However, what homeowners everywhere have in common is that they can save money and improve the comfort of their homes by insulating their houses according to their climate and housing type.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the best insulated houses are those that are padded from the roof down to the foundation. Factors that influence the type of insulation and its placement include moisture control, radon-resistant construction and termite protection in areas where termites are prevalent.
Whether you have a walk-up attic or one that's just a crawl space, you should have access to see the state of its insulation. Typically, homes that have a crawl space overhead have a trap door in a closet or other out-of-the-way place where a ladder can be inserted to view the attic.
Extensive insulation projects can be conducted by professional contractors who specialize in this work, but for smaller jobs, homeowners can find different types of insulation at home improvement stores and install it themselves. Make sure your insulation measures at least 7 inches in depth. If there's existing insulation, you must check its condition for damage, which can lead to problems like mold.
Seal air leaks
Keeping a home properly sealed up matters most in the summer and winter when leaks can undo the work of space heaters and electric fans when they're used to offset the house's main heating or cooling source. A leak that leads to energy loss is a two-way street: Hot air in summer seeps into the house and cool air circulated by electric fans is lost to the outside. Both translate into a waste of energy and higher utility bills.
Checking for holes and cracks on the exterior of your home is more important than searching for these breaks from the inside because gaps aren't as easily seen indoors. Outside, look for cracks where the siding meets the foundation and anywhere that wires, cables or fuel lines go into the house.
If there's a gap between the bottom of your door and the floor, you'll want to block it up. You can purchase a door insulation guard for main entries. To get the maximum benefit, install them on both sides of a door.
Comfortable Living News … brought to you by Lasko Products, Inc., leaders in innovative, quality, high-performance home comfort products at a great value.