Make heating and cooling more efficient

Although it is not visually pleasing and doesn't enhance the appearance of your home in any way, insulation is still a critical component in the successful functioning of your home. Insulation is available in many forms and is placed in a number of areas throughout the home. There are many benefits associated with insulation:

  • Decreased cost of heating and air conditioning.
  • Energy savings (which, in turn, saves you money).
  • Fewer pollutants released into the air.
  • Increased home resale value.
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Fiberglass remains the most popular type of insulation in today's homes. Fiberglass is effective in keeping the air inside your home and ultimately decreasing the cost of energy. However, there are other options.

Foam Insulation

One of the best alternatives to bulky fiberglass insulation is foam. Foam insulation is a clean and simple way to insulate a home.

Spray foam is generally a high-density polyurethane foam which can be used for residential, commercial, agricultural and industrial purposes. Spray foam insulation is applied as a liquid which then expands in volume to fill cracks and crevices. Foam insulation can help to seal your building, reduce utility bills and stop many condensation problems. It also acts as a sound barrier.

Foam insulation panels are basically boards that contain millions of densely packed, compressed air cells. The foam panels can be cut to size and weigh less than wood. A good foam insulation system should be water and fire resistant.

Prices on foam insulation will vary, depending on the type, but kits can reach a few hundred dollars online.

Insulation Blankets

Insulation blankets are designed to cut down on heat loss and save energy and are most typically used on electric water heaters, machinery and piping.

Beware that some localities may prohibit insulation blankets as they often cover up safety warnings and operating instructions. If you use an insulation blanket make sure it doesn't cover any controls, shut-off devices, air passages or valves. Most insulation blankets are custom-fit, removable and reusable. A good insulation blanket should cut down on noise, and be durable and weather resistant.

Where is the Best Place to Insulate?

The biggest concern among homeowners is the location of the insulation. The best place to insulate your home is in your attic. In fact, the United States Department of Energy claims that a shocking 45 percent of a home's energy is lost through a poorly insulated attic. Warm air rises and therefore the majority of the air is going to work its way up, so that's where you want to prevent it from going outside. Attic insulation will ensure the air stays inside your home rather than leaking out through the attic roof.

Attic insulation also helps reduce air conditioning costs and increases the general level of comfort within a home. It can reduce "hot spots" (specific locations which receive significant amounts of heat) within your house, allowing for more even temperature control.

Regardless of the type of insulation you choose or where you choose to locate it, any form of insulation is better than none. Insulation plays a key role in energy and cost efficiency associated with today's cost of living. If you think your energy bills are too high, you may want to consider a better form of insulation.

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