Being environmentally and financially responsible is important - especially when winter utility bills start to climb. While many of us are advised to conserve and cut down on our use of energy. However, it is not always clear how or why we should do so. Thankfully, there are actionable steps you can take towards energy savings, several of which rely entirely on good insulation.
The infographic below illustrates how you, the homeowner, can take advantage of saving opportunities.
Saving Through Insulation
What could you do with an extra $750? These days, it seems like everyone could use a little extra cash. So, why not take every opportunity to save money? Heating and cooling is one of these areas where most people have room for improvement, especially when it comes to proper insulation. With 50%-70% of household energy going toward heating and cooling, it is in your best interest to take every opportunity to cut costs.
One way to do this is to prescriptively seal air leaks. According to Energy.gov, air leaks are most prevalent where different materials meet. Any gap that provides a passage way for air to leak out of your warm house is like a hole in your house's skin; these gaps bleed warm air continuously, so long as there is a difference of temperature between inside and outside.
Getting your HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) unit looked after is another good idea. This allows you to improve efficiency and extend the lifetime of your HVAC unit. Getting your ducts cleaned and sealed as well can also have a positive effect on that energy bill: as high as $330 per year!
What about insulation? But that's what we've been talking about! After all, insulation doesn't help if air simply rushes right by it. Once air gaps and the like have been dealt with, then insulation should be checked. A rule of thumb is if you can see your ceiling joists while visiting your attic, it is time to get some more insulation. It is important to check this; insulation settles over time and is less effective when compressed. This is why they measure R-value in inches and not by weight. It is important to re-check your insulation every so often to make sure that is still thick enough to do its job.
By checking (and re-checking later!) these aspects of home insulation, you too can have an energy efficient house.