Want a simple way to save up to 15 percent on your heating and cooling costs? You may want to consider marking sure your home is properly insulated and adding more if needed. Proper insulation can save you a lot of money while also making your home more comfortable.
But what part of a house should you insulate first? Let’s take a look at the best way to get the most bang for your buck on home insulation.
What Areas of Your Home Need Insulation?
Air will find any way it can to enter or exit your home. It’s important that you insulate as much of your home as possible. Doing so will allow you to prevent air from escaping or entering where you don’t want it to.
Insulating an entire home can get costly. If costs are a concern, you should focus on insulation areas that lead to large air leaks and energy loss. Doing this will give you a larger return on investment through lowered energy bills.
What Part of a House Should You Insulate First?
Crawl spaces – You need insulation in both ventilated and unventilated crawlspaces. This will keep pipes protected from cold temperatures in the winter. It helps help keep ductwork at adequate temperatures during each season. It can also save money in other ways too.
Keeping your pipes warmer means you’ll get hot water quicker. Heating and air conditioning will also be more efficient since the ducts are kept at an even temperature. Having a well-insulated crawlspace can even protect against moisture and pests.
Attics – Hot air rises, so in the winter, heated air will travel up and get trapped in the attic. This is a huge waste of energy since attics usually don’t need to be heated well anyway. Sometimes, heated air even travels completely out of the house through the attic.
In the summer, hot air enters from the outside. This air builds up in the attic, making it more difficult to adequately cool the lower floors of your home.
Exterior walls – Insulating exterior walls keeps air-conditioned air inside where it can cool the home. This can lead to decreased energy needs in the summer. Plus, it keeps warm air in during the winter.
You should insulate all exterior walls. This even includes walls that are between living spaces and unheated spaces such as an unheated garage.
Floors – You should also consider insulating the floors of your home. This can help stop air from leaking between floors or even into the ground.
This is a very important part to insulate if you want to keep air-conditioned air in your home. It’s even more important above unheated areas such as garages or basements. Plus, it can add additional soundproofing between floors.
Additional Spaces to Insulate
Interior walls – If you are wondering “is internal wall insulation worth it?” The answer is yes. Insulating interior walls helps maintain a consistent temperature between rooms. It can also provide soundproofing between rooms, making the living space more comfortable.
Basements – Insulating your basement can also help retain heat. This is especially true if you insulate your basement floors. Plus, doing so can create additional living space.
How to Check House Insulation
A quick way to know if you should consider adding insulation to your home is how the temperature feels in different parts of your home. Cold or uneven temperatures can indicate there is not enough insulation installed.
You can start by scheduling a home energy audit. An expert can check on the current insulation in your home and find any air leaks or other problems.
They can also see how much, what kind, and where the insulation is. This will help them create a plan for where to add additional insulation or if any needs to be replaced.
You could also inspect the house yourself. You will need to look around to figure out where the home is or is not insulated.
You will also need to know the type of insulation in the home, the R-value, and the thickness or depth of the insulation. You may be able to get this information from the builder if you are insulating a newer home.
In the attic, walls, and floors near an unheated space, structural supports are usually visible. You should be able to see the type of insulation and measure the depth yourself in these areas.
For exterior walls, you can use an electrical outlet. First, shut off the power to the outlet and remove the cover. Then, shine a flashlight into the area around the outlet box. There should be a gap between the box and the rest of the wall.
Using this gap, see if there is any insulation in the wall and how thick, if possible. You can also pull some insulation out to find out what kind it is. Just be sure to check the insulation in all areas of the house as it can be different in different areas.
How to Properly Insulate a House
You could hire a professional to install insulation or you can do it yourself. Either way, you need to start by air sealing any areas that have gaps. This will help keep air from leaking both in and out of the house.
You can use caulk to seal cracks and areas between parts that don’t move. For example, apply caulk around door and window frames. Weatherstripping can be used around areas that do move, such as doors and windows.
Different parts of the home will require different types of insulation. For example, blanket insulation is commonly used between studs in unfinished walls and ceilings. Loose-fill insulation may be a better option for enclosed existing walls.
The method of how to insulate a new house versus an older house may also necessitate different types of insulation. You may need a professional depending on the type of insulation needed for your application.
Lower Energy Bills, More Comfortable Home
It may not be possible to insulate your whole home at once, leaving you to wonder what part of a house should you insulate first. But by focusing on specific areas, you’ll be able to reap the benefits of reduced electricity bills and a more comfortable home.
Start by improving your crawlspace. Schedule an inspection with Crawlspace Medic today.