Home Improvement Through Energy Efficiency

When energy prices rise and the cost of heating and cooling becomes more and more costly, it is worth exploring any possibility of reducing electricity bills by making a home more energy-efficient. While many energy-saving solutions entail a lifestyle change, regular upkeep, or are very costly to install, there are some simple things that can be done around the house that can make a difference in energy bills quickly and easily. We’ve outlined some ideas for home improvement that function in this post.Click here for more info about Energy Efficiency.

Isolation, insulation

Home heating and cooling costs can be decreased by 20 percent by properly sealing and insulating a home, according to a study by Energy Star. A one-time investment will help your home indefinitely and save you money.

The Attics

In a house, heat increases, with warm air leaving the attic and upper levels and pulling in from the basement, crawlspace, and outside from the lower levels. By isolating all places, reduce the conditioned air leaving the attic and replace any old or wet insulation. Check that under the insulation, the whole floor is insulated, and caulk or use spray foam insulation on any cracks or crevices.

It is common to use 10-12 inches of insulation on an attic floor, giving it an R-38 insulation grade. It is advised, however, to add enough insulation to get it to R-50 or more. Attic stairways are a major warm air escape path, too. The gaps that an attic stairway produces can amount to as much as 40 square inches! To further minimize this leakage, self-adhesive foam tape can be pushed around the upper edges of the attic staircase frame. To jam the door against the foam when it’s not in use, use eyehooks or a latch.

Around the home itself, there are also several areas where air can leak in. To seal holes where wires enter into the basement and main house section, use caulk or spray foam. Seal all of these wires, pipes and other crevices around them. Before adding caulk or spray foam, make sure to brush away any dirt or cobwebs.

Crawlspaces and Basements

A very efficient way to add energy savings to your home is to insulate the basement. Because water vapor falls through the concrete walls into the basement, this insulation should be resistant to water and have a vapor barrier. Otherwise, it will become a mold habitat and the insulation would be destroyed by the moisture.