Perhaps the most cost effective way to both save money and improve your home’s comfort is to increase your home’s existing insulation, and air seal those penetrations and cracks into the garage, basement, and attic. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, homes use 50 to 70 percent of their energy consumption for heating and cooling their homes. Poor or inadequate insulation results in air leakage and wasted energy. Proper insulation boosts the efficiency of your heating and cooling systems and maintains a consistent temperature throughout the house by sealing air out in the summer and winter. Although every home is different, all homes can benefit from insulating your home better. In fact, the return on investment for such an improvement is so high it pays for itself within two years for most homes, and at that point the savings are just extra money in the homeowners’ pocket.
As hot air tends to rise, the best and most effective place to increase insulation is the attic and ceiling. So when heat is turned on in the winter, the heated air will rise and settle near the ceiling. If the house is leaking, then that air you have “bought” or warmed up, will now escape. This loss of heated air creates a vacuum, which forces cold air to drop into the living space from other cracks and unsealed seams in the house’s framing and foundation. This new cold air must now be warmed up by your furnace, and the cycle repeats. This continuous cycle is excessive and costs the homeowner thousands over the years. The reverse process occurs in the summer, when your cooling system cools air which is pushed out of the house by warm air that leaks in.
And of course, while it’s great to save money, it’s also wonderful to be more comfortable in your home, especially in those hot summer months. Since insulation slows down the heat transfer, our rooms stay cooler in the summer. Rooms that get very hot in the summer no longer will. And perhaps most importantly, if your furnace in the winter, and your cooling system in the summer, needs to run fewer cycles each day to keep your home comfortable, then they stay in service and work for an additional ten to twenty years.