21 Feb How Do I Reduce My Energy Bill With Insulation?
Although Californians are lucky enough to have beautiful, temperate weather all year long, there are still those odd days that can either leave us chattering our teeth or wishing we could dive into the nearest body of water. On these days, our home HVAC systems are our best friends, warming or cooling our homes to that perfectly comfortable temperature.
Unfortunately, it costs money to maintain those ideal temperatures all the time, and running your HVAC unit nonstop can get outrageously expensive. During high-use seasons, the right insulation can mean the difference between an energy efficient, comfortable home and a skyrocketing energy bill.
The temperature of your home can be positively or negatively affected by the amount of insulation in your walls and the quality of your home’s overall construction. When it’s chilly out, you want to keep the warm air in and the inverse on days when it’s uncomfortably hot. If your home has insufficient insulation, your HVAC system will have to run longer and work harder to heat or cool your home and maintain your desired temperature.
All that air will simply drain outside through your walls, windows, vents and other points of entry if your home isn’t properly sealed and insulated, meaning you’ll have to run your HVAC system constantly to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. According to the Department of Energy, heating and cooling make up an approximate 50 to 70 percent of the average home’s energy usage, so by cutting down on how often you run your HVAC unit, you could save big on your energy bill.1
Where Should I Insulate?
There should be insulation in every wall of your home, but it’s especially important to insulate the highest and lowest areas as well as the walls around points of entry.
If you happen to have an attic, this is a great place to start. Hot air rises, so if you’re trying to warm your home during the winter, that air could easily escape through your attic. Because attics typically don’t have fully finished walls, installing insulation is easy and inexpensive. If you want to finish your attic, be sure you insulate the roof as well.
Radiant reflective barrier, expertly installed in attics by our energy-efficiency professionals, can reflect approximately 90 percent of the suns energy hitting your home’s roof, potentially lowering the temperature in your attic by 40 degrees.
If your home has a crawl space or a basement, it’s best to insulate this area as well because cool air sinks and can seep out through the bottom floors of your home. Choose whether you’ll make the basement or crawl space part of the interior of your home. If you choose to incorporate it into your house, you’ll need to insulate the basement or crawl space’s walls to keep it warm in winter. Otherwise, you can insulate your home’s bottom floor and treat the basement or crawl space as an outdoor space.
Luckily for most of our customers in Northern California, building a foundation below the frost line isn’t a huge priority, as we aren’t usually subjected to prolonged bouts of freezing temperatures. Nevertheless, ensuring all points of entry are well insulated to prevent air loss through cracks or gaps in the walls is still essential.
Which Type of Insulation Is Ideal?
Every insulation type has an R-value that describes its level of heat transfer resistance. The higher the R-value, the better it insulates and the more energy-efficient it is. It’s never a bad idea to upgrade a lower quality insulation to something that will save you more on your energy bill. Insulation is often one of the more affordable energy-saving upgrades, so it may be easier on your pocketbook to upgrade insulation rather than invest in the newest, top of the line HVAC system, especially if your existing system still has years of life left.
There are a few types of widely used insulation. If you’re insulating your home on your own, you may want to make things easier for yourself and opt for the blanket-like fiberglass insulation. This variety is easier to lay and relatively cheap. However, if you’re insulating a ceiling in your attic, this may not be the best choice.
For roofing or ceiling insulation, spray-foam polyurethane insulation makes application a breeze and fills every little crevice easily. This type conforms to the shape of your rafters and has a higher R-value than many other types of insulation.
Contractors typically use a loose-fill fiberglass or cellulose insulation that can be sprayed into walls because these fill the little nooks and crannies that blanket-type insulation can’t reach. These are the types you want if you’re insulating around points of entry or exterior-facing walls. If for any reason you need to knock out drywall to access your insulation, it’s best to let a contractor handle it to avoid severing electrical wiring or damaging plumbing. It may be a bit more expensive to hire a professional, but the peace of mind is often worth it.
Go Greener With Energy Saving Pros in Northern California
Saving money on your energy bills and producing fewer carbon emissions feels good. Making your own energy and saving even more on your electricity bill feels great! Energy Saving Pros is dedicated to helping Californians live a greener, more energy-efficient lifestyle with our insulation and solar panel installation services. Whether you need a professional to upgrade your home’s insulation or you want to make the leap to solar power, our knowledgeable, courteous experts are here every step of the way to help you save money and reduce your carbon emissions. Contact us online or call 866-497-6527 to receive your free quote today.