Being comfortable in your own home is essential to your happiness. Unfortunately, too many homeowners in the greater Chicago metropolitan area find themselves living in homes that aren't quite as comfortable as they'd hoped. Even if your home is comfortable, you might be paying huge electricity bills to keep your space pleasantly cool or warm. If you have concerns about your home comfort, consider asking an HVAC professional to talk with you about your insulation options. New or improved insulation can help to boost your home's overall energy efficiency while helping you to save money.
Why is Insulation an Integral Part of Your Home?
Most modern homes are built with insulation designed to assist with the regulation of temperature. Depending on the design and size of your home, insulation may be located beneath your floors, behind your walls, in your ceiling, in your attic or in your basement. Your home's piping lines are also likely surrounded by special, molded insulation designed to keep them from freezing. You can find out what type of insulation was used in your home by checking behind an electrical socket or looking at an exposed area of your home's framing in the garage, basement or attic. As you consider your options, remember that insulation can do all of the following:
Prevent warmed or cooled air from your HVAC unit from leaving your home.
Keep hot or cold air from outdoors from coming into your home.
Help prevent the buildup of condensation on surfaces in some homes.
Increase the overall efficiency of your home, allowing you to control energy costs.
Evaluating Your Insulation Options
Perhaps you're concerned about home comfort and energy costs but aren't sure if it's the right time to insulate. In general, it is always advisable to add more insulation if your home's current insulation is doing a poor job of controlling temperature. New, high-quality insulating materials are designed to last for your home's lifetime. However, water damage can undermine the integrity of insulation. If your home has flooded in the last several years or you've suffered from serious leaks or broken pipes, you may need to have your insulation replaced.
Today's homeowners have many options when it comes to insulating their homes. In order to choose the right material for your home, you'll need to take into account where the insulation will be placed. Different types of insulation are designed for different uses and purposes. Your HVAC contractor will likely suggest one of these types of insulation:
- Spray foam and other synthetic or natural spray-in materials that are can be applied to almost any surface.
- Blow-in materials, including spun fiberglass, that are placed in attics and other open, unused spaces.
- Fiber batting rolls that can be installed behind walls and beneath floorboards with ease.
- Molded pieces used to cover your home's pipes and joints.
Basement and Attic Insulation
It can be easy to overlook insulation in areas of your home that you never use, such as the basement or attic. However, insulating these areas is integral to controlling the temperature inside your home and cutting down on your energy costs. Good attic insulation will help to repel excess heat in the summertime, especially if ventilation fans are installed. Insulating your attic also prevents it from getting too cold in the winter and sucking up all of the heat produced by your home's HVAC system. Insulating your basement is a great way to keep cold out in the winter while increasing the efficiency of your heating system.
Wall and Floor Insulation
Most homeowners are able to tell whether their walls and floors are well insulated. Both hot and cold drafts tend to enter through leaks in these areas, seriously undermining home comfort. Insulating these areas with high-quality materials will help prevent many home discomfort issues. Instead of feeling chilly drafts in the winter, you'll enjoy warm, even temperatures inside your home. Great insulation will also help to repel heat caused by the sun beating down on your walls during the summer.
Choosing An Insulation Solution to Save Money
Focus on your own comfort needs when choosing insulation solutions for your home. Think of the times of the year when you feel particularly uncomfortable in your home. Can you tie your discomfort directly to outdoor temperatures? If so, bolster insulation throughout your home to ensure that you can stay comfortable. Remember that installing new insulation can also increase the overall value of your home.
Insulating for Energy Efficiency
If you're focused on completing home improvements so that you can cut down on energy bills, complete insulation work first. It's important that your home is well insulated before you install a new, energy-efficient HVAC system or other energy-saving appliances. If you're unsure of why your electricity bills are so high, ask an HVAC technician to complete a home energy audit on your behalf. During the audit, your technician will evaluate how your home is using energy and will point to ways that you can increase efficiency. Be sure to let your technician know that you are interested in learning more about your home's insulation.
Working with A Local Insulation Specialist
It's important that you can stay comfortable in your own home. At Comfort24-7, we're proud to match homeowners throughout Chicago, northwest Indiana and southwest Michigan with HVAC contractors who can meet their needs. Take advantage of our free, user-friendly tools to find an HVAC expert in your area today.