The Value of Investing in Home Insulation
By David Holmes on July 6, 2009
It’s a plain and simple fact that adding home insulation in any of its many forms will lower home energy costs immediately as well as for the future. There’s no time like the present to improve your comfort with cost-effective insulation and begin saving money.
There’s no question that the energy costs of heating and cooling a home have increased dramatically in the past decade and this trend is expected to continue. But just because the cost per unit of energy is increasing doesn’t mean that your monthly fuel bill must increase at the same rate.
Adding insulation to your home not only reduces your monthly energy costs but also increases the resale value of your home. Since home insulation keeps heated or cooled air within the dwelling rather than allowing it to escape, the cost of insulation improvements to your home will pay for themselves in a short amount of time.
Cavity Wall Insulation
The exterior walls generally comprise the largest surface area of a house that is exposed to the weather so installing cavity wall insulation to maximum recommended values is important, especially for newly constructed homes. But a basic principle of physics states that warm air rises; what does that mean for the average home?
The Importance of Loft Insulation
Warm air rises through the ceiling and enters the loft, finally escaping through the roof. The warm air that cost money to heat literally blows away. Energy experts estimate homeowners can reduce heating costs by 30% simply by properly insulating the loft floor area. Fortunately, loft insulation is typically easy to accomplish and is one of the most cost-effective actions a homeowner can take to immediately decrease heating costs by about one-third.
Cooling your feet in a pool of water is a delight on a hot summer’s day but experiencing cold feet all day in your own home during the winter months is downright unpleasant. Adding the right kind of insulation that is designed for basement ceilings or as floor underlayment can keep the floor from absorbing the cold from below, creating a more comfortable house. Consider the latest in radiant heating options if you are replacing an old floor.
Any surface that is exposed to a difference in temperature between the outside and inside can experience heat loss and heat loss immediately translates to increased energy costs. Here are some other places in the home where insulation will pay for itself:
- Seal around doors and windows to prevent draughts. Re-glazing old windows will decrease air infiltration.
- Hot water pipes and furnace ducts benefit from insulation.
- Insulating a hot water tank saves energy costs all year long.
Replace Old Equipment
Technology is constantly advancing; consider for example the improvements in solar heating options. Replacing old central heating and cooling equipment can be a cost-effective alternative. Depending upon the cost of energy and how inefficient the existing equipment happens to be, a homeowner can be recoup the investment in new equipment in about 10 years while enjoying cost savings immediately.