Filling the Gaps: Choosing the Right Insulation to Save You the Most Money on Your Heating Bill

Your house serves as a wonderful escape from all the extreme weather outside. Keeping it comfortable, however, can cost a small fortune if your home is not properly insulated. Understanding the right types of insulation that your home needs is crucial to making the most of your investment to ensure that your home is efficient and that you save money. Here are a few types of insulation with explanations of how they can help you save money on your next heating bill.

Attic

Since it sits right below your roof, it’s important to have your attic well-insulated. Otherwise, since heat rises, all the warm air from your home will escape upward through the roof, and all the cold, sinking air will come into your home. A well-insulated attic traps the warm air in your home while preventing cold air from entering. There are generally two types of attic insulation: spray foam and blown-in. Spray foam is an expandable foam that is sprayed between the rafters, expanding to fill the entire cavity. Blown-in insulation is small pieces of insulation that are blown onto the attic floor, being allowed to pile up until the proper amount of insulation is installed.

Due to the specialized equipment required for its installation, spray foam insulation tends to be more expensive than blown-in insulation. However, if you want to be able to utilize your attic for storage, it’s a good idea to utilize spray foam insulation, since blown-in insulation takes up a much large space in your attic, making storing anything in your attic impossible. Either way, you’ll want to ensure that the insulation achieves a certain R-value, which is the measurement of how well a given material or installation of that material can resist heat flow. Once you’ve achieved a high R-value, you will quickly see your heating bills drop.

Wall Cavity Insulation

Another critical place to have insulation installed is in your wall cavities- especially your exterior wall cavities. While your exterior materials and interior drywall can do a little bit to block cold air from coming in, insulation can provide far greater resistance against the cold air. If you have a newer home, this type of insulation will likely already be in place.

If you have an older home, the most popular options are, again, blown-in or spray foam. With spray foam, you have to drill holes in the drywall to accurately determine when the cavity is full. Blown-in insulation doesn’t require this step but can settle over time, leading to gaps in the insulation coverage. Either method, however, is better than having nothing at all and will allow you to feel warmer and save plenty of money on your heating bill.

Under-floor insulation

If you have a raised home that has a crawl space, chances are the gaps between the floor joists aren’t insulated. Given the direct exposure to outside air, though, they certainly need to be to help you achieve your heating cost goals. Since this insulation will be exposed to more moisture, special types of insulation are needed. Typically, rigid insulation that has a moisture barrier attached is the best way to go. After all, the last thing you want is for your insulation to be absorbing moisture that then gets transferred to your floor boards.

Every Bit Helps

Whether you choose to insulate some or all of the empty cavities in your home, know that everything you do will have a great return on your investment. The exchange of cold air with warm is a constant occurrence which causes your home to be uncomfortable even as your furnace is working harder and using more energy to try and keep up. Don’t let another winter pass without properly insulating your home. You won’t regret it.

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