to a report by Energy Star, home heating and cooling costs can be cut
by 20% by properly sealing and insulating a home. A one-time investment
can permanently benefit your home and save you money.
rises in a home, with warm air leaving from the attic and upper levels
and pulling in from the lower levels through the basement, crawlspace,
and outside. Reduce the conditioned air exiting from the attic by
insulating all areas and replace any insulation that is old or moist.
Check that the entire floor is sealed underneath the insulation, and
caulk or use spray foam insulation on any cracks or crevices.
10-12 inches of insulation on an attic floor is standard, giving it an
R-38 insulation rating. However, adding enough insulation to bring it
to R-50 or more is recommended. Attic stairways are also a major escape
route for warm air. The gaps created by an attic stairway can amount to
as much as 40 square inches! Self-adhesive foam tape can be run along
the upper edges of the attic staircase door to help reduce this
leakage. Use eyehooks or a latch to jam the door against the foam when
it’s not in use.
There are also many places around the home
itself where air can leak in. Use caulk or spray foam to seal holes
where wires enter into the basement and main house area. Seal around
all these cables, pipes and other crevices. Make sure to brush away any
dirt or cobwebs before applying caulk or spray foam.
Basements and Crawlspaces
the basement is a very effective way to add energy-efficiency to your
home. Because water vapor comes into the basement through the concrete
walls, this insulation should be water resistant and include a vapor
barrier. Otherwise, it can become a habitat for mold and the moisture
will ruin the insulation.
Encapsulating a crawlspace is also
a fantastic way to make a home more energy-efficient. By sealing
crawlspace vents, warm air is prevented from entering in the summer,
where it would add humidity to the home. Sealing crawlspace vents also
keeps cold air out that would otherwise seep into the house in the
winter. A seal is created between the crawlspace walls and the air in a
home that protects pipes, water heater, and heating ducts from cold.
water heater and pipes can lose a great deal of heat as they run
through a damp basement and especially in a cold, vented crawlspace.
Insulating the pipes and covering the water heater with an inexpensive
insulative blanket can help the keep the heat where it should be.
Heating and/or cooling vents that have been installed improperly can
leak 25% of the air they vent into the crawlspace, basement and attic.
Have a professional clean the vents and test them for leaks that need
to be sealed.
Windows and Doors
As much as
30-35% of the heat in a home is lost through the windows. Glass panes
are the weakest link in a home’s insulation, and on cold days, it can
feel uncomfortable near the windows in even a properly heated home.
the windows are broken or have cracked panes, then they should be
replaced. Single-paned steel cellar windows that are drafty and rusting
also lose a great deal of heat and should be replaced with vinyl,
double-thermopane windows. Buying windows with a Low-E coating will
take advantage of sunlight to keep warmth in the home in the winter and
cool temperatures in the summer. In the basement, installing proper
window wells with covers will protect basement windows from blowing
winds as well as help prevent flooding.
windows and weather stripping over normal windows will do wonders for
keeping heat in and outside sounds out. Weather stripping caulk is
clear and designed to strip off without damaging paint when it’s no
longer needed. Thick, high quality drapes can add beauty and insulation
to windows as well- especially if the curtains are drawn during cold
weather. Weather stripping the doors is also a fantastic way to keep
conditioned air in the house while making a home cozier, quieter, and
more secure. And according to USA Today, United States residents can
get up to a $500 tax credit on efficient doors and $200 on windows!
care of appliances will save a great deal of money in the long run.
Most effective maintenance requires a one-time repair or an annual
service and should be no trouble at all. Keep appliances in good order,
and they will continue to perform at their peak.
Making your Home Energy-Efficient From the Bottom Up!
Basement Systems and Total Basement Finishing
are dedicated to adding energy efficiency from the bottom up. We can
insulate your basement walls and floor and dehumidify the space, making
a cleaner, healier living space. Our SaniDry Basement Air System
can dehumidify your basement while cleaning the air of particles as
small as two microns- smaller than mold spores and dust mite feces. Our
ThermalDry Floor Matting
can insulate your basement floor, making it ten degrees warmer than
your concrete whiile providing a vapor barrier that keeps humidity out
of your basement and protects any carpet laid on it from mold, rot and
mildew. Adding insulation to your furnace, pipes and ducts is a great
way to protect your home from the cold air of a crawlspace, but doing
so does not protect your home from the air that seeps up through the
crawlspace into your home. Basement Systems can seal off your
crawlspace vents and encapsulate the area with our CleanSpace Crawlspace Encapsulation System.
Our tough 20-mil plastic will keep your crawlspace walls and floor from
letting humidity into your home and will discourage pests and insects.
It installs in about a day, and once installed, your crawlspace will be
usable as storage.
Dropping the humidity below 60% with
CleanSpace and a SaniDry will make mold go dormant and stop it from
creating spores. Additionally, dust mites will not have enough moisture
to live on and will not send their fecal material into the air, which
would then travel into the main area of your home. A dry crawlspace
will be safer from rot and your entire house will be a healthier place.