Conserving energy is not just a great idea, but also a worthwhile goal. Lowering your energy usage is good for the environment with the really nice side benefit of lowering your fixed costs. Since heating and cooling consumes more than half your household energy expense, it’s the first best target for conservation.
So, do you really want to reduce your utility bills? Check out what you can do with home insulation.
Insulate Your Attic
Heat rises, and that means in the cold of winter, a good part of the heat your HVAC system is generating eventually rises to the highest point in your house. If your attic isn’t well-insulated, much of that heat will escape through the roof. The loss forces your HVAC system to work harder to maintain your home’s set temperature. You’ll feel that pinch in your wallet.
Insulate The Top Floor Ceiling
If your attic is also unheated, that is, not part of an HVAC zone, insulating the attic space will certainly help reduce your costs. However, your unheated garret will still remain cooler than the rest of the house, and thus a magnet for the rising warmth.
Consider dampening the power of this magnet by insulating the top floor ceiling. A well-insulated ceiling will keep all that cozy warmth that your HVAC system is generating where it belongs, in the “living” zone.
Insulate Duct Work In Unheated Spaces
HVAC duct work in unheated basements, attics, or crawl spaces are also susceptible to ambient heat (and thus energy) loss to the surrounding air. Insulating the duct work will reduce the heat loss and make the system more efficient and work at less cost.
Upgrade Your Insulation
Building codes change over the years, and they’re changing ever faster due to the attention being paid to energy efficiency. This means older homes tend to be less well insulated than newer construction. Retro-fitting insulation in older homes can be tricky because of the need to avoid trapping moisture that may promote rot, as well as trapping air that can cause “backdrafting.” If you have a drafty older house, consider hiring a professional to install proper insulation.
While you’re working on insulating your home, don’t forget to check out the area around your windows and doors as well. Replacing old windows with new ones and caulking spaces around the frames can also help insulate your home from leaking energy losses.