The first oil crisis we faced over 35 years ago sent us scrambling to design more energy-efficient homes and plug the leaks in our existing homes. Despite everything we’ve learned over the last four decades, we continue to live in homes that leak energy.
Older Homes Aren’t Doomed to be Hopeless Energy Drains
There are many positive features of older homes that can potentially, if they don’t already, provide energy-saving qualities. For instance, tin roofs are popular in older homes and can be restored to help reflect solar heat and keep the house cool. The biggest concern for homeowners of older houses in relation to energy waste is air leakage, followed by improper insulation. A home energy evaluation allows homeowners to prioritize their energy-saving projects to receive an excellent return on their investment.
In an older home, the task of improving energy efficiency may seem daunting, so breaking it down into smaller projects is an effective strategy. The first step to reduce your energy costs is to identify the spots where your home is losing energy. If only a qualified professional technician would do this for free. Wait, A+ Insulation offers a free home energy evaluation? Why wouldn’t you have this done?
Your Walls are Leaking!
The thought of performing costly home maintenance typically scares homeowners from having a proper inspection done on their home. Putting off home energy evaluations as an attempt to avoid a potentially large bill is common, but also completely backwards. In fact, a home energy evaluation can save you money on your monthly energy bills! A+ Insulation is right here in Kansas City and can help homeowners see where energy, and their hard-earned money, is being wasted.
A Visual Inspection Reveals Energy Leaks
An energy assessment will determine where you require additional insulation and where you have leaks. As a homeowner, it’s beneficial to be aware of your home’s problem areas. When these areas are repaired or sealed it can make a huge difference to your home’s heating and cooling costs. The professionals from A+ Insulation will begin with a visual inspection of your walls.
Start from the Top of the House, Your Attic Needs Help!
The first place to look is the attic, because heat rises. On a cold day your house acts like a big chimney pulling heat through every gap and crevice in the floors and walls to the top of the house. The difference between the high pressure in the attic and the lower pressure outside drives the warm air through the roof, literally.
Taking care of your attic insulation can increase the energy efficiency of your home up to 40%.
This sets off a chain reaction where the low pressure near the foundation of your house attempts to balance by sucking in the cold, exterior air. The colder it is outside, the greater the pressure differentiation is inside the house, leading to increased heat loss. Those cool “drafts” you feel inside your home are an indication.
Where Exterior Walls Leak the Most
On the outside of your home, we’ll look for places where building materials join including:
- Corners and areas where the chimney meets the siding
- Water faucets and gas lines
- Sections where the foundation meets the siding
- Any point where an opening has been cut into the walls or doors because this is a great place for small gaps to form
Where Interior Walls Leak the Most
Inside your home, there are numerous opportunities for leaks to occur, such as:
- Electrical outlets and switch plates
- Window and door frames, weather stripping
- Vents and mounted AC units
- Fireplace dampers
- Phone and cable TV lines
- Gas and electrical service entrances
- Dryer vents
Once You Find the Leaks, Close the Gaps!
Consider all the places in your home where the structure has been compromised in order to accommodate ducting, plumbing, wiring and fixtures. Each time a hole was cut through the ceiling or roof, a potential leak was created. These are relatively easy issues for insulation professionals to fix. A+ Insulation can help you choose the right materials and ensure you have the correct insulation in your walls. Remember, insulation is designed to slow down heat loss, not to stop airflow.
Once homeowners are aware of the potential improvements needed in their home’s insulation, they can plan accordingly to repair them. Not every household is set up financially to tackle costly home improvement projects at the drop of a hat. The benefit of having a home energy evaluation is using the knowledge and advice offered by our technician to make a plan for what to address first, second, etc.
In general, the most important areas for homeowners to make sure are properly insulated are attics and crawlspaces. By tackling these areas first, they are insuring the most bang for their buck.
A Home Energy Evaluation is Free!
The biggest thing for homeowners to remember about our home energy evaluations is that there is no cost for having them done. At A+ Insulation, our technicians will go through your home and determine what is insulated properly and what might need additional or replacement insulation. Your A+ Insulation technician will then give you an estimate to repair the problem areas. The best part about it? There are no strings attached.