Insulation and Weatherization Keeps Heating and Cooling Costs Down

Insulation and Weatherization

Whether you are building a home or live in a pre-existing house, insulation and weatherization can make a major difference in your bills. Where you live determines your insulation needs. A home using a phoenix heating and cooling system requires different insulation than a home in the northern United States. The US Department of Energy has an easy to use a calculator to estimate your insulation needs based on your ZIP code. If you are building a new home, building codes will set minimum insulation requirements and your contractor can help you determine what else you will need based on your home design. Preexisting homes can benefit from an energy audit. A professional will come to your home and perform tests to determine where the airflow is causing you to leak heat or air conditioning. He can also check the efficiency of your heating and cooling system.

Fiberglass

There are many choices in insulation materials. One of the most common types of insulation is fiberglass. Available in pre-cut batts or in blankets, it is easy to install in walls and attics and helps prevent the air from your heat pump AZ from leaking through gaps in your home’s construction. When installing fiberglass insulation, you need to make sure it is fitted closely together and that you use a vapor barrier to help keep moisture out.

Insulation Made from Recycled Cotton

If you want to use more environmentally friendly materials, you can buy insulation made from recycled cotton. Installing these materials in the walls of prebuilt homes can be difficult since you would need to remove and replace the wall surface. Spray foams can be shot into wall cavities and expand as it cures to provide a tight seal. Loose-fill cellulose insulation can be blown into walls or attic spaces and is often made from recycled paper.

Focus on Weatherizing Your Home

Once you have good insulation installed, you can focus on weatherizing your home. Gaps around walls and windows can let out the cool air from your geothermal cooling system. Caulk and weather-stripping can help seal those gaps. Your ductwork should be checked to make sure it is properly sealed. You can lose up to 20% of your system’s efficiency through duct leaks.

Installing Window Insulation Film

Double-glazed windows can reduce heat exchange through the glass. If you cannot afford to replace your windows, you might consider installing window insulation film which can reflect heat out or limit heat transfer. Insulating your pipes prevents cold pipes from leaking condensation and hot pipes from heating the air. In the south, consider light-colored or reflective roofing to reflect heat away from your house. Radiant barriers installed under your roof also reflect heat away, helping keep your home cool.