The Lowdown on Home Insulation
Have you ever suffered through a particularly cold winter or hot summer wondering why in the world your house is so much colder/hotter than your friend or family member’s brand-new house? Chances are it has to do with insulation. Insulation comes in many shapes, sizes and materials and can be applied to many different locations. Some insulation options are cheap while other solutions are quite expensive – there’s a lot to consider.
Most of us with older homes do not even think about insulation unless we are embarking on an extensive remodel or if you’re building a new home. However, insulation can be very beneficial even in an existing home. Let’s explore some of the common insulation upgrades existing home owners can embark upon to make their lives more comfortable and even save money over the long-term.
Attic insulation is one of the easiest and most cost-effective upgrades to your home. Chances are that over time, the original installation your home has degraded to the point where it does not offer enough protection from the elements. New insulation products are thinner and more efficient than ever before, and they are even spray on products that can be applied with almost perfect coverage. Not only does replacement of insulation improve comfort in the home, but it is a perfect time to look for defects in the roof or attic often caused by weather extremes for animal intrusion.
Installation can also come in the form of windows. Newer windows often offer much better insulation then windows from just a couple decades ago. If you live in a hurricane prone area such as Long Island, hurricane wind resistant windows not only offer protection from projectiles (and even burglars) but can also make the home more comfortable during temperature extremes. If you’re not ready to replace your windows quite yet, take a look around your windows and doors to make sure there is weatherstripping. Having new and well-fitting weatherstripping around the house can eliminate costly drafts.
Basement wall and floor installation can also eliminate a big source of energy loss. Not only will it make your basement more comfortable to hang out in – especially during cold weather– But it will also help the rest of the house dampen temperature extremes.
Lastly, but not least is checking your air ducts, if you have central air and heating. Over time, these ducts can develop holes and tears that allow cool or hot air to escape, reducing the efficiency of your home’s central air system. Improving insulation of these same ducts can further improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling unit. While some ducts will be hard to access, others can be easily repaired or replaced by a qualified professional.
A note on wall insulation. While older houses typically have subpar wall insulation, which allows a great deal of hot or cold air to be lost, it is not often practical to replace it.
Whether you’re looking for a small for significant installation upgrade, improved insulation offers one of the clearest and most immediate benefits to your comfort and even wallet - in the form of lower heating and cooling costs. Insulation improvements and replacement are also on the cheaper end of the home-improvement cost spectrum. Feel free to call us and learn more about how insulation and other improvements and repairs to your home can protect you from intrusion from the elements.