As the weather turns colder, it’s time to think about how well insulated and energy efficient your home is. Proper insulation can save you about 20% on your heating and cooling bills on average, so it’s not something that you want to overlook. Even if you know you’ve had your home insulated in the past, you’ll want to check on the thickness of the insulation, as the material can deteriorate over time. If you can see the beams in your attic, that’s a sign that you need more insulation. You can also determine the quality of your insulation by having a home professional perform an energy audit of your entire house.
If you or your home professional does determine that you need more insulation, you have three main choices for material. Cellulose is made from recycled materials like newspaper and fabric, and you’ll need about six to eight inches of this blended material above your wood beams. Fiberglass is also made of recycled materials, including glass, and you would need to add about eight to ten inches of it above your beams. Polyurethane foam is a more expensive option, but it also performs better in extremely low temperatures (think below ten degrees Fahrenheit). To determine what’s best for your house, talk to a Sacramento green remodeling contractor.
Learn more about how to tell if your home needs better insulation and what materials are available to you by watching the video below:
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SACRAMENTO HOME INSULATION VIDEO TRANSCRIPT:
ANGIE HICKS: Insulating your house is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve the energy efficiency of your home. The cost of the insulation is going to depend on the climate as well as the size of your home; typically homeowner’s find that they can see a 20% savings on their heating and cooling bills by properly insulating their house. What homeowners might not realize is that insulation actually deteriorates over time, so it’s something you need to check periodically to make sure you have enough. An energy audit is a great way to help you determine that as well as to check the overall energy efficiency of your home.
ROBERT TRANUM: The best way to tell in an attic is if you can see the beams in the attic, you’re under-insulated. You want to make sure you have a good six to eight inches of cellulose above your wood beams or eight to ten inches of fiberglass above your beams. The walls are a little more difficult. You can take off the plates on the walls for your outlet covers and look that way to see; we have an infrared camera and that’s a better way to check it. Another way is to just drill a hole through the outside underneath your siding. There are three types of insulation: cellulose, fiberglass, and polyurethane foam. Cellulose is more of a shredded newspaper, newsprint, clothing that has a tendency to settle about an inch for every eight inches you put in, which is a good thing because it becomes more of a crust and it’s harder for heat to travel through it. Fiberglass is a little more fluffy; it’s also made out of a high percentage of recycled materials like glass, obviously. It doesn’t settle as much, there’s very little settling. Performance-wise, the colder it gets, both materials have a tendency to lose their R-value, like in a zero degrees temperature or ten degrees. Polyurethane foam retains its R-value a little better; it obviously costs a lot more to foam your attic.