Insulating a House: The Most Effective Places to Install

Insulation Basics

Depending on where you live, the amount of insulation you need varies.

Insulating a house is a process that involves putting insulation in to protect from outside temperatures. Proper insulation in your home will make it more comfortable to live in.

You will see a lowering of your energy bills and an increase in your quality of life with proper insulation. The government guidelines represent how much insulation is appropriate based on the climate where you live. The type of insulation you use will be up to you, your budget, and who you have to install it.

Insulating a House

Insulating a home involves putting up a barrier against the outside. This barrier must be appropriately applied to be effective. Some types of insulation are more costly than others, and some are useful in certain applications that may not apply to your situation.

The R-value of insulation is how you determine the effectiveness of the insulation you’re buying. The R stands for resistance, and that rating is monitored for accuracy by the government. This ensures you aren’t being cheated when you need a certain value of insulation.

Attic Insulation

Attic insulation is important because warm air rises, and cold air sinks. This means that the attic provides a buffer against warm air escaping and cold air penetrating your house. In warm climates, the attic is of equal or even greater importance.

Most attics have a lot of open space in them. From the floor to the roof of your house, the attic acts as a giant air buffer. If outside temperatures are allowed to raise or lower the temperature of the air inside the attic by a large degree, it will impact your entire house.

If you have heard the term “roof insulation,” this is where it comes into play. Roof insulation creates a barrier above the attic, being attached to the wood of your roof above the attic. This provides valuable protection against cold and warm air penetrating the house.

This rule also applies to any room that has vaulted or cathedral ceilings. The higher the ceiling, the more insulation and the higher R-value you are going to want to use. This is true even if there isn’t an attic above these rooms, because a large amount of air in a room with a high ceiling can impact the heating and cooling of your entire home.

Floor Insulation

Floor insulation is also important when you are insulating a house. This is because a lot of the cool air during those hot summer months will try to escape through the floor. It is also true that most homes that have a basement or crawlspace benefit from insulation to keep the floor from becoming cold.

Basement insulation is another beneficial area to put insulation in your home. If your home has a basement, it will affect the temperature in your house. The basement is not a room many of us think of because it is out of sight except during severe weather and for storage.

It is common for basements to have windows and a lot of access to the inside of your house. Protecting your house from the intrusion of unwanted air from around these windows and through all the cracks and crevices in your basement will help you save money and be more comfortable.

Many people also have their heating appliances, like furnaces, in the basement. Protecting these appliances and maintaining a steady temperature will help them last longer and work better. It also benefits drywall to be kept at a more consistent temperature without large variances.

You should also make sure to insulate areas where pipes come through the floor. In many kitchens, there are pipes coming up from the basement into the sink and any other drain you may have. These pipes act as conduits and should be insulated to block airflow.

Insulating the Walls

As you may expect, walls are a place where insulation is vital. Drywall is made up of gypsum and paper and is therefore not able to be an adequate insulator on its own. Adding insulation to the walls is the only way to make your home energy efficient and comfortable.

There are several types of insulation that can be used in walls. One of the most popular is spray insulation that requires only a small hole be cut in the drywall to apply. If you decide to go for regular insulation and install it yourself, you will have to replace a lot of drywall before you’re finished.

Even with the extra work, it is well worth it to invest in your home. Insulation is, for the most part, reasonable when it comes to cost. If you’re not comfortable with trying to knock holes through your drywall, don’t worry, there are professionals who you can hire.

Windows and Glass

Whether it is a window or a door, most people don’t think of insulation when they think of glass. In case you didn’t know, glass is a terrible insulator. If you have single-pane windows, you are going to experience a lot of difficulties keeping your house cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

The most popular choice for insulated windows in modern times is double-pane windows. A double-pane window is assessed as an R-value, just like insulation is. To achieve this, there is a layer of argon gas injected between the sheets of glass.

Argon gas is a non-reactive gas that acts as a thermal barrier inside the glass itself. If you notice condensation inside your double-pane windows, they are not working correctly. Condensation won’t build up as long as the argon is trapped between the two panes of glass.

Part of any comprehensive attempt to achieve good home insulation must include windows. One of the worst things you can do is to spend a lot of money putting insulation all through your house while leaving old single-pane windows. This defeats a lot of the benefits of having proper insulation, though you will still see considerable savings over not having any insulation.

This is also true of exterior doors. Single-pane glass in your door can be just as much a problem as in windows. If your door has a glass set inside it, make sure it is rated to be energy efficient.

Other Places for Insulation

While we have covered the main areas where you need to insulate, be aware of any cracks or holes in your house. These are paths for cold and hot air to flow unimpeded through your walls, ceilings, and basements. Closing and repairing these openings is essential to have an energy-efficient home.

You should also take special care to fit and seal any pipes going from outside in. If you have a basement, this won’t be that difficult.

You can go down into your basement and check the pipes, make sure they are insulated, and are snug in the wall and foundation. If you need to, insulating foam can be wrapped around these pipes to help winterize them too.

If it gets too cold and you aren’t prepared, pipes can freeze. Water damage is expensive and difficult to clean up. It also exposes you to additional threats, like mold and other contaminants that can endanger your health. Insulation doesn’t just make us more comfortable and save us on our energy bills, it also prevents damage to the piping and foundation of a home.

Consider insulation to be like armor against the outside environment. If there are any gaps in this armor, the outside will get in. Your home must be as sealed as possible when trying to keep hot and cold air where they belong, outside.

Insulating and HVAC

Insulating a house is a significant first step to energy efficiency. The next step is to have efficient air conditioning and heating installed in your home. The older your units are, the more energy they will waste.

A good HVAC service will be able to recommend and guide you in selecting the appliances you need. Mathison Air is a trusted HVAC in the Bastrop Country area of Texas. Make sure that the HVAC service you contact is trusted and fair, so you don’t get overcharged.

Never a Bad Time to Check Insulation

Whether or not you plan on using HVAC services for improving your quality of life, don’t ignore your insulation. Make sure that insulation exists throughout your home. Insulating a house, from attic and roof insulation to basement insulation, is critical for protecting and improving your investment.

Mathison Air even provides emergency services in case something has happened after business hours. You won’t be left suffering for days while you wait for a repair if you use us as your HVAC service provider. Stay cool in the summer, warm in the winter, and enjoy the space your home offers you.

If you have any questions about HVAC or need our services, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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