Home Insulation & Caulking Upgrades
A drafty house and high utility bills are signs that your home could benefit from some insulation upgrades and caulking improvements. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating and cooling account for more than half of the average home’s utility costs.
Tighten up and save:
Proper insulation creates a more comfortable home by not allowing air to seep in or out, and well-insulated houses stay warm during winter and cool during summer. Before making any improvements, here are some things to consider:
1. Existing Conditions
Determine the effectiveness of existing insulation and where insulation is missing. Professional home energy auditors can pinpoint problem spots where energy is being lost. To find a licensed energy auditor nearby, check out ENERGYSTAR or RESNET.
2. Insulation Types
Learn as much as you can about the different types of insulation, including fiberglass, cellulose, rigid foam board, and spray foam.
3. Performance Measures
Dig into the metrics. Understand R-value, which measures how well an insulated barrier resists the conductive flow of heat, and what R-value is most appropriate for your location and climate.
Eliminate drafts in each room:
Sealing and weatherstripping projects are perfect complements to insulation upgrades. Some of the following projects can eliminate drafts:
Minimize door drafts with weatherstripping
Use caulk or weatherstripping to seal window leaks
Depending on the climate and season, open or closed drapes along sunny sides of your house, will either block or welcome the sun’s heat
Repair visible and accessible ducts with duct sealant
Other trouble spots can include mail chutes, electrical & gas line service entrances, cable TV & phone lines, outdoor water faucets, spaces where dryer vents pass through walls, bricks, siding, stucco, and foundation, air conditioners, and vents and fans.
Calculate insulation savings:
Project costs vary depending on climate, the scope of work, and whether you hire a professional. Also, look out for Federal, state, and local tax credits to offset project costs. Find incentives and rebates at the national Database for State Incentives on Renewables and Efficiency.