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Insulation And Air Sealing

Insulation and Air Sealing

blowing-insulation-into-attic

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Insulation and air sealing have a huge impact on home energy costs, especially in our area where extreme temperatures are not unusual.

 

Most people do not realize how inefficient their homes are until after completing a home energy audit, and the scale of the problem can be drastic. Homes built in the 1980s or earlier have insulation that simply does not compare to the advanced energy-saving types available today.

 

When it’s time to make energy-saving improvements, there are a few different routes you can take: You can add or replace insulation in the walls, ceiling or floor, and you can seal or replace leaky windows and doors.

 

Start with a home energy audit before deciding which way to go, and make sure you hire an independent auditor rather than a contractor who wants to sell you services. An unbiased report is important to prevent overspending and an independent home energy auditor will give you that.

 

How Insulation Is Graded For Efficiency

Understanding how insulation material is graded will give you a basis of comparison between what you have now and what you need for improvements. Insulation is graded according to R-value. Learn more about R-value in our blog post about how efficiency is measured.

 

Differences Between Fiberglass, Cellulose and Spray Foam Insulation

Three types of insulation are available today and each has it’s own pros and cons.

 

Fiberglass – Used in roughly 85 percent of U.S. homes, fiberglass is popular because it is relatively inexpensive and easy to install. The main downside is that offers less protection from heat and cold than options like spray foam.

 

Spray Foam – Spray polyurethane foam acts as an insulating barrier while also sealing cracks, making it one of the best insulating materials you can use. It also comes in various density levels that suit different applications. Spray foam is also very costly and always requires professional installation.

 

Cellulose – This insulation is made of paper pulp with a fire retardant mixed in. Cellulose is installed by blowing the material into spaces, making it a great option for attics and wall cavities that need filling. This insulation is priced affordably and offers an R-value similar to fiberglass.

 

Learn more about the costs of different insulation types in one of our blog articles.

 

Air Sealing Your Home

When it comes to cost-efficient ways to make your home more comfortable, air sealing is tough to beat. Weather stripping around windows and doors, or caulking cracks in the floors and walls can make a big difference. Air sealing can save you lots of money over time with very little investment.

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