You might be shocked to know that nearly 90% of all single-family homes in the United States are under-insulated. A lack of insulation can cause high energy bills and a lack of comfort within your walls.
And when you are paying to heat and cool your home, you don’t want to see your money escaping through your walls. With a few simple DIY steps, you can increase the insulation in your home.
Benefits of Insulation
- Proper insulation will decrease energy bills and help prevent drafts and uneven airflow in a home. But apart from money savings and comfort, insulation provides many other benefits.
- It decreases the intrusion of exterior noise.
- It can help extend the life of your roof through the prevention of ice dam formations.
- It lessens the wear and tear on your HVAC, helping to extend its life.
- It prevents water vapor from making its way into your home and settling in your walls.
- It keeps dirt and pollen from the outdoors from entering your home, helping to improve the quality of your air.
Here are some simple and affordable ways to increase the energy efficiency of your home and add insulation.
1. Weatherstrip Doors
Weather stripping is an affordable way to add insulation to a home, and it does not have to be a permanent fixture either. You can easily apply and remove the weather stripping yourself. There are many forms of weather stripping, so research which type will be best for your doors.
Place the stripping along the floor and the sides of all exterior-touching doors. This will fill any gaps between the door and the frame where air is able to escape. Once your doors are closed, you will have a tight seal that obstructs unwanted airflow.
2. Attic Insulation
An easy way to add extremely impactful energy efficiency to your home is with attic insulation. Nearly 25% of all heat that escapes a home does so through the roof. Additional insulation can lower this percentage. In fact, a lack of insulation is the number one way a home loses energy.
But attic insulation will only significantly help homes that have intact roofs. Before adding insulation, ensure your roof is in good shape and seal any air leaks. Consider having a professional roof inspection completed before adding insulation to ensure your roof is in the best shape. Then apply an extra layer of insulation to your attic floor.
3. Window Insulation
Windows are typically less insulated than your siding. If you feel drafts around your windows, you are losing heat and A/C through them. Four simple ways to increase insulation in your windows are:
- Seal/Caulk Frames—You should apply fresh caulk around the perimeter of your windows, filling in any gaps or cracks. If the perimeter has old caulking, remove it and reapply a layer of caulk.
- Weatherstrip Perimeter—In the same manner as your door, apply weather stripping around the perimeter of your window. This can be applied to the movable and stationary portions of your windows.
- Spray Foam—Cracks or holes around the window frame can be the perfect place to add insulating spray foam. Do not remove drywall for this task, as that can cause more harm than good. Then simply spray as much insulation into the hole as possible.
- Apply Window Film—You can purchase pre-cut window film insulation. Apply it to the exterior window pane and add heat, such as using a blow dryer over the film, to seal it tightly in place. This insulation can decrease a window’s u-value by up to 13%.
However, if you are due for a window replacement and no manner of insulation cuts the drafts, consider more energy-efficient replacement windows. Contact a professional for more information on how new windows can benefit your home.
4. Caulk Dryer and Bathroom Vents
Vents touching the exterior of your home provide holes for air to infiltrate and escape your home, unless they are properly sealed. Caulking around these vents provides simple insulation to the more forgotten areas of your home.
5. Hang Heavy Curtains
An easy and affordable way to keep out the cold and keep your warm air inside is heavy curtains. They act as an added insulator to block cold air from coming into your home and prevent heat from escaping. And for a reverse effect, closed curtains on a hot day can help keep the heat of the sun from creating a greenhouse effect in your home, keeping it much cooler.
6. Plug Chimney
An opened chimney is the perfect place for air to escape your home. When it is not in use, close the flue to help keep air where it belongs. However, a closed flue can only do so much. When your chimney is not in use, consider installing a chimney plug to provide a thorough seal.
7. Wrap Your Water Heater
Purchasing an insulation blanket for your water heater can help save you anywhere from 7% to 16% in water heating costs, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Wrap your water heater with the blanket. It will keep the surrounding air from affecting the water inside your heater.
Better Insulation Leads to Greater Energy Efficiency
Insulation lends a hand in saving you money and making your home more comfortable. But without a well-maintained exterior, your insulation cannot properly do its job.
If you are in need of a siding, window, door, or roof inspection, our team can help. We will thoroughly inspect your exterior and provide our professional recommendation. As a licensed exterior home contractor, our team can help repair or replace any faulty materials so you can have peace of mind in your home. Your new exterior will greatly add to the energy efficiency and protection of your home. Contact us to get an estimate today.