Improving Your Home With Insulation

Improving Your Home With Insulation

When it comes to home ownership, there are few aspects of the building you live in more important than energy efficiency. In today's modern world, where almost every bit of our lives is wrapped up someway in the usage of energy and electricity, cutting down on energy costs is one of the number one ways to cut down on the over all costs of living. And living with a home that has insufficient insulation is one of the most surefire ways to ensure that you have a hard time keeping those energy bills down, especially in the cold winters and hot as can be summers we get here in Dallas

So whether you're trying to sell your home in Dallas in this competitive market, or you’re trying to make your newly purchased home a better long term investment, why not take a quick look around and see if your insulation is up to snuff. It’ll pay off in the long run. 

Insulation Types

One important consideration worth discussing when talking about insulation is the many types of insulation out there, how they differ, and what uses they primarily serve. No two types of insulation are the same and that’s for good reasons. 

First off, batts and blankets. This is the most common type of insulation. And it might be what first pops into your mind when you hear the term insulation. It comes in convenient rolls that are easy to transport and carry. It’s especially suitable for do-it-yourself projects, but take care to cut the material to fit around plumbing pipes, wires, and electrical outlets. Clumsily stuffed into awkward spaces, it loses effectiveness, sometimes as much as 50%. So one big consideration when it comes to this type of insulation is care and precision with installation.

Next up is loose fill insulation. This insulation consists of fluffy strands of fiber blown into attics and walls with a special machine. It fills nooks and crannies, eliminating cold spots. It comes in two main forms: cellulose and fiberglass. Fiberglass loose fill is light enough for attic applications and cellulose is effective at all temperatures, and can even perform better as the air gets colder. Both are often found in ceilings. Ceilings, enclosed existing wall or open new wall cavities, unfinished attic floors, other hard to reach places are great for this easy to spread insulation.

Spray foam represents another type of insulation that is good for getting into nooks and crannies. Also, spray foam insulation costs more than batt insulation, but it has higher R-values. It also forms an air barrier, which can eliminate some other weatherizing tasks, such as caulking. This plastic insulation goes on as a liquid and expands to fill the available space, sealing all gaps and cracks and stopping any air leaks. Pros spray the foam insulation mixture into framing cavities; once dry, the excess is cut away, leaving a flat, even surface.

Environmental Concerns

More than ever, people these days are concerned with their environmental footprint. Attempts to go green have been adopted world over by customers and companies a like. That’s why another big consideration for many when thinking about new insulation is the environmental one.

To that end, when selecting an insulation material, the most important environmental consideration is its performance and suitability for your application. Over the lifespan of a home, the energy saved with a well-insulated building envelope far outweighs the environmental impact of insulation’s manufacture. The North American Insulation Manufacturers Association states that the insulation produced annually in the United States saves 12 times the energy its manufacture consumes. Although this calculation may ignore the energy required to extract and process materials used to make insulation, it gives you an idea of how much energy insulation can save.

When comparing two materials of equal performance, consider the environmental impact of each product's manufacture and disposal. Some insulation materials are made from almost entirely nontoxic, abundant or renewable materials, while others are made from limited petroleum resources and are difficult or impossible to recycle.

Insulation materials can affect indoor air quality, though when materials are installed properly, not to a great degree. People with chemical sensitivities should check their response to a product before installing it. Concerns that may arise include irritation from airborne fibers and emissions from glues, flame retardants or other additives, especially if they are bio-accumulative (bio-accumulative substances build up in your tissues over time, possibly causing long-term health problems).

Where Makes the Biggest Impact

What a lot of people want to know when it comes to insulation considerations is where they can boost and improve the insulation in their home that will make the biggest differences. It’s a worthwhile question, as not all parts of the home are created equal. Not all parts of the home have the same amount of surface area or are as prone to heat gain and energy loss. 

For example, the ducts in your home are an obvious area where improvements in insulation can have wide reaching effects. The ducts in a typical house leak so much of their heated and cooled air into the attic, basement, or crawlspace that sealing the seams and wrapping the ducts with insulation can slash your HVAC costs by 30 percent. The job is not as simple as applying duct tape to the joints; despite its name, duct tape doesn’t last very long on ducts. You’ll want to hire a pro for this messy and time-consuming job, which requires specialty mastic and tape.

On the other side, you have windows. Many people believe that windows are a big area for improvement when it comes to insulation, but in reality, although houses lose a lot of energy through their windows, high-quality replacement windows are so pricey (think $800 plus per window) that they’re almost never cost-effective purely for energy efficiency purposes.

Bar none, the most important place in your home to have quality insulation is the attic. If you insulate only one thing, it should be the attic floor, since heat rises. You want at least 10 inches of insulation up there. If you have one, you might install insulation on top of the floor or under the roof deck, depending on your home’s configuration and where heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment is located.

Insulation Considerations and Selling Your Dallas Home

Having your home updated to include the latest and greatest in energy efficiency trends and technology is one of the best ways to make it stand out on the market. If you’re trying to sell your home in Dallas you can’t go wrong with making doubly sure your insulation makes it appealing to anyone looking for a modern, energy efficient home. Another huge factor in your ability to sell quickly and effectively is teaming up with a top notch Dallas realtor. Having a real estate agent on your side that knows the business and knows the market is essential. So contact us today and find your Dallas real estate solution.

Candie Hernandez Headshot
Phone: 214-477-5595
Dated: February 19th 2018
Views: 21
About Candie: Although not originally from Texas, it has become my home after 30+ years of living primarily in the...

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