We all want to save money. That’s a given. But how much money will you actually save by insulating and sealing your home? That’s a fair question. A+ Insulation did some research and got some answers for our customers. Read on to find out if insulation is an investment worth making.
How to Estimate Your Energy Savings
The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that homeowners in the Kansas City area (Climate Zone 4) can save an average of 17% on heating and cooling costs by air sealing their homes and adding insulation in attics, floors over crawl spaces, and accessible basement rim joists. Considering that heating and cooling costs account for about half of your total energy costs every year, that’s a significant amount of money. It’s easy to figure. Add up all of your energy costs from last year. Divide that number in half, and then take 17% of that. That’s your estimated savings in actual dollars. And don’t forget, you’ll be saving that every year after too.
Related Read: See the Energy Leaks in Your Home with a Thermoscan
How Did the EPA Determine a “Typical Home” for Estimating
The Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) from the U.S. Energy Information Administration based its modeling of a “typical” U.S. home around common construction characteristics of homes built after the 1973 oil embargo when an increase in energy awareness in home construction meant more energy improvements than the industry previously had seen. The EPA based this estimate on energy modeling of basic, cost-effective improvements made to these “typical” existing homes with specific characteristics. Professional building science contractors corroborated the results. The EPA assumed the following characteristics for a house from the 1970 to 1989 era:
- 1,700 square feet of conditioned floor area
- 15% window-to-floor-area ratio
- 23% total system duct leakage
- Four bedrooms
- “Stick” construction (wooden studs, joists and rafters), with batt insulation in walls and blown insulation in attics
Visit this page on the Energy.gov website for a more detailed breakdown of the data on the “typical” home .
Table 1: Estimated Savings from Home Sealing and Insulating