There are a lot of ways you can improve your home, from security, to energy savings, to remodeling, but one improvement will pay you back the fastest. Adding or upgrading your insulation has a fast turn around when it comes to return on your investment.
Since insulation is responsible for up to 70% of the total heat gain and loss in your home, the proper type, amount, and installation of insulation can make a huge difference in your savings in the long term. Adding attic and wall insulation can pay for itself in just two years based on the typical amount of energy savings you’ll experience. In just a couple of years, you can save an average of $1,000 in energy savings.
Nine Out of Ten Homes in the U.S. Are Under-Insulated
According to NAIMA (North American Insulation Manufacturers Association), 90% of the homes in the U.S. are under-insulated. What do you think the chances are that your home is properly insulated? Probably not good. Simply adding insulation in the right places will not only save you money in reduced energy bills, but it will add to your resale value when and if you do sell your home.
The Insulation Standards Are Changing
Insulation standards are not what they were a few years ago. In 2015, cities and towns within the Kansas City metro are raised the R-Value that your insulation has to meet. (R-Value is the capacity of your insulation to resist heat flow.) This means new homes, or homes for sale, need to have insulation with acceptable R-Values. Why wait until you sell your house to upgrade. You can do it now and reap the benefits (and ROI) in energy savings and comfort.
Where to Insulate First to Get the Best ROI
Insulating your home is a great way to save on heating costs throughout the winter months and cooling costs in the summer. We always suggest that you schedule an energy evaluation to pinpoint the areas where your home is losing the most energy. As a savvy homeowner, you want to be sure that you’re insulating the areas that will yield the greatest return on your investment. While every home will differ somewhat on the areas that most need increased insulation, this guide will help you determine what sections of your home will save you the most money by adding insulation.
1. Start in the Attic
- Attic insulation is one of the most important types to have in a Midwestern home. You know that the warm air produced by your furnace is rising straight up. If your attic isn’t well-insulated, that also means that the heat is escaping straight out! Adding insulation to your attic can increase your energy savings by $120 per year or more in cold climates.
2. Check the Walls
- A great deal of heat is lost through your exterior walls, especially if it’s been awhile since your insulation was updated. You don’t want to tear out all of your existing walls to replace the insulation, which is why minimally-invasive tactics that inject insulation into the walls is the best way to go. Annually, this could save you as much as $300.
Related Read: 6 Great Reasons to Insulate Your Home
3. Don’t Forget the Floors
- Insulating your floors, especially if they’ve been previously left without insulation, has a similar return to insulating your walls. This is doubly true if you have unused space in other floors of your home that you don’t want to heat all winter (like an unfinished basement). Annual savings? As much as $300.
4. Save By Insulating Crawl Spaces
- Crawl spaces beneath your home are necessary to access areas that would normally be impossible to reach. Unfortunately, it’s also a great way to lose a lot of your heat. Insulating your crawl spaces could save you around $200 per year.
Related Read: We Don’t Just Talk the Insulation Talk, We Walk the Walk
5. The Basement Needs Insulation
- If there’s nothing between the floor of your basement and the ground, there’s a good chance that you’re steadily losing heat through that space. Instead of letting your heat leach away, add a layer of insulation in your basement! Each year, you can save as much as $300 on this process.
Remodeling Is a Great Time to Upgrade Your Insulation!
Remodeling your home brings exciting visual changes for sure, but did you know that it’s also one of the best times to update your insulation? It’s the perfect opportunity to add more insulation while attic roofs and wall studs are open and exposed. The insulation pros at A+ Insulation have some great tips for insulating during a remodeling project. There are three basic areas to consider; the walls and the attic.
Insulating the Walls during a Remodel
If you’re replacing drywall or building new walls, make sure you get the insulation right. Remove all old, wet, or compressed insulation. While you have this opportunity, it’s best to install new insulation so you know it’s all fresh (no mold here) and meets the recommended R-value.
Fiberglass batts or rolls are usually the easiest for homeowners to install. Spray foam will give you even better insulating results, as it expands to fill in any nooks and crannies and seals as it dries forming a vapor barrier. Though spray foam costs more, as it is not a DIY kind of product, it will yield the best R-value.
Attic Remodel Tips for Insulation
Attic insulation is critical to keeping your home comfortable especially in the winter months since heat rises and escapes through the roof. Your choice of insulation will depend on the roof framing system.
If the roof is framed with rafters, and the floor space is open, and you can lay insulation batts between the horizontal joists. If the floor is finished, focus on adding insulation to the ceiling of your attic, between the sloped rafters. If you plan to finish a living area in the attic, use paper-faced fiberglass batts in the rafter space, with the paper side facing downward.
If you have roof trusses, blown-in cellulose fiber works well because cutting and laying fiberglass batts in a trussed attic can be labor intensive and tedious. Blown-in insulation creates a uniform blanket of insulation, and it can get into smaller spaces as well. Just make sure that insulation doesn’t block soffit vents or cover heat-producing lights.
Many times, the homeowners start their project only to find their insulation is thicker than the depth of the rafters. To keep the insulation flush with the ends of the rafters so drywall can be added later, furring (attaching strips of wood to add depth to the space between the roof and the rafters to match the depth of the batted insulation) may be necessary. To insulate without furring the rafters, you can install regular batts in the existing rafter spaces, and then add a layer of rigid foam board insulation over the rafters for added R-value. Drywall can be installed on top of the boards for a finished attic.
Add Exterior Insulation with New Siding
If you are adding new siding as part of your remodel, make sure it’s insulated. You can buy insulated vinyl siding that comes with rigid foam attached to the back for additional insulation. It’s a great way to add another layer of thermal protection to your home that’s offered by many different manufacturers.