Did you know that insulation is one of the most important factors in home comfort? If you’re too hot or cold in your Cleveland-area home, it could be due to improper or inadequate insulation. And we’re not just talking about older homes. Homes of all ages can have air leaks that lower their energy efficiency. Adding insulation to key areas, replacing inadequate insulation and sealing air leaks can save the average Northeast Ohio homeowner as much as 20% on heating and cooling costs. That’s 10% of your yearly energy bill!
Proper insulation and home sealing keeps conditioned air from escaping. This prevents your heating and cooling system from wasting fuel and having to work harder to keep you comfortable. Whether you live in Cleveland Heights or Twinsburg, you can improve your home’s insulating value by taking three basic steps:
- Seal air leaks
- Add insulation
- Update heating and cooling system for efficiency
- Install energy-efficient windows (if necessary)
1. Air leaks- Locating air leaks in your home is an important first step. Some are pretty obvious. For example, drafts around windows and doors and where the floor meets the wall are noticeable in cold weather. Other air leaks are not as easy to find because they’re hiding behind insulation. Caulk around windows and under baseboard trim, add weather stripping to doors and use spray foam insulation in larger cracks and gaps.
2. Add insulation- The majority of heat loss due to inadequate insulation occurs in the attic and basement. Replacing or adding insulation to your attic keeps warm air from rising into the attic and out through the vents. In the basement, check the space where the frame meets the block or stone foundation. Add insulation to prevent cold air from being drawn in through holes and spaces. The space around your chimney flue, electrical outlets and recessed lights are all places to check and add insulation as necessary. It’s also important to make sure the attic is properly ventilated and the vents are not covered with insulation.
3. Energy-efficient windows- If your windows are older, non-insulating or have lost their seal, it may be necessary to replace them. Your local HVAC contractor can recommend the right energy-efficient windows for your climate. Also, installing Energy Star qualified windows may make you eligible for government tax credits.
There’s a lot of ground to cover with insulation, so we’ll talk more about it in future posts. Though tightening up your home will save energy, at the same time you can inadvertently create other problems along the way (We will discuss some these issues in future blog posts.). So make sure that you fully research the facts before taking action.
P.K. Wadsworth services the Greater Cleveland, OH area including cities Chagrin Falls, Shaker Heights, Eastlake or anywhere in between. To get started, check out our website.