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How Proper Insulation Can Be Energy Efficient

Choosing to have proper insulation in one’s home is always a wise long term investment, despite the initial upfront cost.  Although many family budgets are understandably constrained, many will see the wisdom in paying for something that will help reduce utility bills indefinitely thereafter.  By eliminating drafty areas within a house’s exterior and interior walls, better efficiency can be achieved with regards to both heating and cooling. Depending on the locality of the home, this can translate to savings on both natural gas and electric power bills.  

There are many government programs that assist homeowners in financing such improvements in efficiency, and it is important to investigate those options. However, it is also prudent to consider that “payback” can often be achieved in under a full year. The savings in reduced gas and electric bills can outweigh the up-front cost to install insulation in a much quicker time frame than most think.

There are several related benefits to living in a well insulated home. Whether choosing to install under floors, in ceilings, or in walls, a reduction of heat loss to some degree is guaranteed.  Depending on the pre-existing condition of the house, homeowners could expect their efforts to result in anywhere from a 5% to 80% reduction in loss of heat.

Such a gain in efficiency is tremendous and important in daily life, as a more efficient home is a more comfortable home.  By helping to create an atmosphere that is warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer—it becomes clear the matter is not simply one of financial concern. Indeed, it is hard to quantify the monetary value of feeling more comfortable in one’s own home.

Aside from better climate control, there are several other benefits related to comfort that can be documented. Inhabitants of a home with newly installed insulation will notice a difference in noise and in humidity levels within the house.  Noise from outside sources is greatly minimized, and internal noises tend to be more localized. Regarding moisture content in the air, homeowners undergoing this home improvement will notice an absence of condensation, and a drier home. Moisture occurring in ceilings and walls due to condensation is potentially hazardous, as it can lead to the growth of mold, potentially exposing the occupants to disease.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, deciding to bolster a house’s insulation is a great benefit to the environment. By using less energy to heat and cool a home, this means less fossil fuels will ultimately be needed to meet our collective power demand. Coal fired generators supply much of the electricity used to heat and cool our homes, and contribute heavily to greenhouse gas emissions.

There are many different kinds of materials that work as insulation.  This product can be found in rolls, rigid foam boards, concrete blocks, loose-fill or blown-in material, sprayed-in foam, or in panel form.  The composition of the material can range from cellulose, fiberglass, mineral wool and plastic fibers, to other types of synthetic fibers.

Some contractors offer free assessments of houses, testing for inefficiencies and estimating potential savings.  These professionals are well trained to help advise the client on which type of material is most suitable for their particular needs. In addition, homeowners are informed of what their most cost-effective options are, in order to save the most money.

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