Insulation is one of those things in your home that you rarely see, so sometimes we take an “out of sight, out of mind” approach to dealing with insulation. However, having the right insulation information can help you to better understand the advantages of proper insulation and educate you on the best steps to make sure your home is best equipped. This insulation information can actually save you a great amount of money over the ownership of your home.
Insulation helps protect the interior of your home from the elements. The idea is to keep the cool air in and warm air out in the Summer, and vice versa in the Winter. Insulation is the main barrier to protect you, your family, your belongings, and your home itself from the elements.
There are many places in your home which should be well-insulated. Any exterior walls, and even interior walls between spaces which are not climate controlled (e.g. your garage). Also, any unfinished attic space should have insulation between and over the floor beams to protect the living areas below. You should even insulate floors, if any part of it is over a crawl space or garage area.
The U.S. Department of Energy has recommendations for insulation levels in various areas of the country. The first step in evaluating your home’s insulation needs is to check the level of insulation in the areas listed above which should be insulated. Compare with the recommended levels and see if you have a need for more insulation.
There is a variety of types of insulation, and it is important to know which types are best suited for which locations in your home. There are rolls, batts, loose-fill, and rigid foam boards, and each type can be made of different materials. Usually rolls, batts, and loose-fill are made of some kind of fiber glass. Rolls can be used to roll across the attic floor or other large areas which should be covered. Loose-fill is blown into attics or walls. Rigid foam boards can be made from a variety of materials and offers compact and light-weight additional support for cathedral ceilings, exterior walls, and other places which may have limited room.
Ventilation is very important with insulation, and if your attic space is not properly vented, install new vents in the attic. You also do not want insulation to get wet, so you may even need to install vapor barriers in the attic or crawl space.
Solving your insulation problems will only prove effective if you also weatherize your home. Make sure all exterior doors have complete weather stripping. Check all window and door frames for drafts.
If you fix these problems, you will see much better results from the changes in insulation. It will save you money, and it will allow you to be more comfortable in your home. Insulation information is essential in knowing your home intimately and knowing the best solutions for making your home the most comfortable place it can be.