Upgrading insulation is a single improvement that yields a more efficient and comfortable home interior for decades to come. It inhibits the movement of warm air into cooler environments, which is why well-installed insulation provides year-round energy savings.
Things to Do Before Installing Insulation
While insulation can be a DIY project, installing it isn't as easy as it looks. Plus, it must be installed correctly in order to reap all the benefits you're expecting. For that reason, it's wise to consult with an insulation contractor to ensure you're getting the best bang for your buck.
Here are things to look into:
- Is the home adequately sealed? If your home is leaky, insulation will have a hard time doing its job. Make sure your home's envelope is properly sealed, focusing on areas where the foundation meets the frame, where the siding meets the roof, the perimeter of door/window frames and around any exterior plumbing, electrical or media penetrations.
- Verify the R-Value. This refers to the insulation material's ability to resist heat flow; the higher the value, the more resistant it is. It's important to match the R-Value of your insulation to your climate, the insulation's location, and the home's heating/cooling source. Cleveland residents are in Zone 5. Install the highest recommended R-value you can afford for maximum lifetime energy savings.
- Match insulation to location. Not all insulation is created equal. While spray foam insulation works well everywhere, traditional rolls and batts are only recommended for drier locations. Your moisture-prone basement, for example, may fare better with a radiant barrier and rigid foam insulation. A professional contractor will help you decide which is best for your needs and budget.
- Prioritize. If you can't afford to do it all at once, prioritize applications by most to least effective: attic, floors, exterior walls, basement, crawlspaces.
- Don't forget about airflow. While sealing is important, so is whole-home ventilation. Proper airflow prevents moisture-related issues, like high humidity and mold.
Schedule a visit with P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling and work with a contractor who takes whole-home comfort and energy efficiency into the insulation equation.