As time passes on and your home is faced with the weather changes that correspond to each season, you might see that there is also a change in your energy bill. This change might not always be pleasant.
Therefore, it is important to have the proper insulation in your home or business so that the weather changes do not affect your lifestyle or your properties. For instance, if in your place of residence there is no snow, there is little benefit to be achieved if your insulation is planned for heavy snowstorms.
However, if your place of residence is an area with an abundance of rain or snow, it will be very important to have proper insulation just like when you live in a very hot area, it is important to properly insulate your home to prevent the cool indoor weather from escaping.
What are the advantages?
For starters, let’s consider energy costs. If you “just” insulate your home without consideration as to the R-value you need or the insulating material that you should use as well as dismiss the process of insulation installation that you should follow, you can still see a reduction in your energy bill. Yet, if you follow proper procedure and you take the time to review and research what it is that you need, you will be able to see your energy bill go down up to 50% or even more!
This means, in layman’s terms, that the money and time you invest in doing proper insulation installation will reward you by paying itself! In an era of environmentally friendly homes, where we all seek to reduce our carbon footprint, it is important to start the process step by step. And the first step is to properly insulate your home.
Insulation will make indoor weather appliances more efficient and will expand their functional lifetime. The AC in the summer and the heater during the cold months of autumn and winter can work better if they do not have to compete with the outside weather sifting in through un-insulated walls or ceilings.
Not only that, but proper insulation will also reduce noise contamination, making your house a quiet and peaceful home where friends and family can enjoy life and love.
If you are part of the thousands of people who are turning to solar energy panels, insulation will also help you in this matter. The energy and heat that is saved from solar cells can be used more efficiently if you insulate your home. Furthermore, there is no need for you to compromise the benefits of green insulation for the use of something that is not environmentally friendly.
While it is a nice idea to be able to experience nice and comfortable indoor weather while the outdoor weather is less than comfortable, this can only be achieved through proper weather insulation.
The amount of money that you will be able to save once your home is properly insulated depends on different factors:
- The amount of money you need every month to run indoor climate control appliances
- An alternative use for energy supply in your home.
The amount of money you need every month to run indoor climate control appliances refers to the cost of electric bills or gas consumption that you use to properly run them. For instance, if you are prone to having an indoor climate that mimics the weather in the tropics in the middle of winter just like Homer Simpson, then you will need to spend a lot of money.
If your house isn’t insulated, achieving this indoor temperature will cost you an exorbitant amount of money which will be reduced as you insulate your home. The possibility of reduction also allows you to aim for a higher indoor temperature. If you do, then the amount saved will be lower.
This is a common mistake amongst homeowners and house residents. They believe that since there is going to be a money expenditure reduction, they can spend more and then find themselves disappointed when the end result is a smaller saving than what they expected.
When folks have to deal with cold weather and then they insulate their homes, the resulting warmth invites them to do other stuff such as cooking and baking. This can consume additional gas, thus reducing the amount saved by insulation.
Still, even with these considerations, there will be a reduction of money needed to pay for energy bills. All of these are good results and consequently, good news.
In order to achieve this, you will need to proceed with insulation, which in turn means to install it. This also means that you will have to make an investment or pay money to have them installed. In this area, you need to consider the following:
- Type of insulation you use.
- Size of your home
- Age of your home (how long has it been since it was built)
- Modifications, repairs that have to be done prior to insulation
- Removal of exhausted, old insulation
- Disposal of insulation related debris
- Preparation for insulation installation
- Expansion of the installation
The first thing that has to be cleared is the determination of your home (considering that it is not a newly built construction) has it been insulated before. If the previous insulation is still in place, what is its status, if it is still in working condition or if it needs to be replaced. It might also be that it HAS to be replaced because of construction or EPA standards, as it happens with asbestos insulation.
If it was insulated and the insulation needs to be removed, you will also need to dispose of it. Most insulations are prohibited to be thrown away in the general trash, and they must be taken to properly disposing of facilities.
If your home is fairly new or it hasn’t been insulated before, then you can progress into the preparation part which includes determining what type of insulation you should use. This is usually set by the area in which you are going to install the insulation. While most insulation materials can work anywhere, there are contradictory guidelines as some experts consider that each area of the house has a particular insulation material and R-value to be used.
The insulation materials can come in different presentations. These presentations might be handy for some areas and a hindrance to others. The determination will be done as soon as you decide which part of your home you will be insulating. The same applies to the preparation part.
It is a good idea to consider what is it that you need and then check the potential problems that are preventing you from achieving this. For instance, if your goal is to save money during the cold months of autumn and winter, then you need to check the walls and the ceiling of your home for previous or non-existent insulation.
If needed, you should insulate both the ceiling and the exterior walls of your home. It is true that hot air travels from hot areas to cold ones. And it is true that hot air tends to rise and cold air lingers at the bottom. In a home with no insulation, hot air will travel to the outside where it is colder. And it will rise to the ceiling and escape through the uninsulated area leaving the inside of the house cold.
Should I insulate ALL my house?
While it depends on what it is that you want to achieve, it might be a good idea to plan and consider insulating your entire house.
However, it is an expensive and time-consuming endeavor. Even if you are hiring professionals to help you achieve this goal, it will be uncomfortable and a hassle, so it might work in your best interest to work your home in segments.
While exterior walls can be divided into rooms, the ceiling is a different matter. This is the part of the house that can’t and should not be divided. Insulation installation and removal should be done with consideration of the ceiling or attic as one single room.
Experienced and conservative insulation professionals advise that, in terms of insulation materials, there are different materials and qualities and in the overall scheme, they all work fine. However, as a rule of thumb, good insulators will have a wool-like structure meaning that they will trap small pockets of air.
They comment that any person who seeks to have a properly insulated home should not rely solely on the insulation itself but also on decorative elements such as heavy curtains from fabrics such as cotton, hemp, and even plastic with fabric. Indeed, is common sense to wear heavy clothing during the cold weather and the opposite; light clothing during the hot weather.
Still, it is worth mentioning that while you insulate your entire home, it will always be a good idea and good measure to have proper garments.
Think of your home as a box containing several smaller boxes that constitute the different rooms in your house. Now, insulation will cover the outside of the big box so that the external weather does not affect the inside boxes or the people inside them.
It is important to cover all the box on the outside. If you fail to do that, something that is called “Thermal Bridges” can happen. This is when you walk from one warm room to another warm room and there is a cold spot, usually in the corridor or in a middle room whose temperature is significantly lower than those warm rooms.
This usually happens when there are parts of the big box that haven’t been insulated adequately. Thermal bridges are not only a problem because of the difference in temperature or the flow that they will imprint to the hot air; but because they are at a significantly lower temperature, they will clash with the hot air and create moisture.
Moisture becomes mold and mildew. Most homes have wallpaper, and modern-day trends have also decorated walls with fabrics that have an underlying addition of styrofoam.
Styrofoam as it is used in cushions and tapestries is prone to host mold and mildew. These are problems when you have elderly people, children, and humans with health conditions such as asthma.
This is another very important aspect of keeping your home properly insulated during weather changes.