How to insulate your home

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 11:54

It doesn't matter whether it's summer or winter, the leaks and cracks in your house could be losing money in either heating or cooling costs. It's important to ensure your house is sealed off completely from the outside world if you don't want to see your savings escaping through the windows and doors of your home.

Energy-efficient floor heating that uses radiant heat and cooling systems like central air can go to waste if the rest of the house isn't ready to support them. You need to get your house ready for the next drastic temperature change - otherwise your energy bills could spiral higher than they should be. It's key that every wall, ceiling, floor and exit of a house is properly insulated to provide all those within with a comfortable climate.

1. Discovering where you need insulation - While many obvious sections of a house need insulation such as the attic and basement, there are spots throughout a building that may need attention after the wear and tear of past seasons have taken their toll on the corners and creases of a home. Old caulk might be coming loose or holes could have broken through, opening up tiny drafts that may appear irrelevant, but actually siphon off your indoor temperatures. You need to perform a thorough inspection of your house to determine which areas will need work and repairs.

Windows and doors are big culprits of needless energy waste and should always be checked before the start of a new season, otherwise they may as well be wide open. Some doors might not be appropriately fitted to the frame, leaving spaces open that leak heat or cool air. If you have a furnished attic, you'll need to insulate the area around the rafters, but covering the floor will do in most cases. Seal off any area of your house people reside.

2. Fill the cracks - Once you've found all of the potential leaks, you need to use new caulking or weather strips to seal them off from outside conditions. Caulking should be laid down in single and continuous strips, and you can smooth the edges to fill in any gaps before it dries.

When you're replacing old caulk that's dried out or peeling, remove it completely so a new layer can be applied. If you're filling cracks on the outside of a building, make sure the material used is weather resistant. If it's for an area made of brick, use masonry sealer to resist the adverse effects of freezing and thawing.

3. Extra measures to protect doors and windows - After you've weather sealed and caulked everything you can see, feel free to put up heavy curtains over windows during the winter for another layer of protection. This barrier will help insulate the glass that might be transferring heat out of your house without you realizing it.

When a wave of cold air is coming in from under a door or window, you can use draft snakes to easily stop the flow. These are perfect for the areas that are difficult to caulk or weatherstrip and can be moved around to spots with the worst draft.

4. Keeping the water warm - During the winter, if your pipes aren't insulated, they could freeze and burst. Any pipes you have access to should be wrapped in cushioning, along with faucets that are outside.To reduce the costs of constantly heating up the contents of your water tank, cover the whole thing with an insulation blanket so your furnace has to run less frequently to warm the tank for hot water.

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