What You Should Know
Sealing air leaks and properly insulating your home are two of the most effective things you can do to reduce heating and cooling costs and to increase home comfort. Sealing air leaks reduces the uncontrolled flow of air into and out of your home. Insulation reduces the transfer of heat through walls, roofs, and floors. Insulation works best when air leaks are sealed first.
Air Leak Sealing
Sealing air leaks eliminates or reduces the uncontrolled flow of air into and out of your home. The most common and effective methods are caulking, sprayfoam, rigid foam insulation, and weatherstripping. Caulking is used where building materials don’t fit together precisely or have separated over time (from expansion or contraction), or where things like plumbing and electrical conduit pass through the building envelope. Spray foam is often used in those same places when the gaps are ¼-inch or larger. For even larger voids, rigid foam or densely packed cellulose insulation can be installed in cavities to stop air flow. Weatherstripping is used around doors, windows, and other movable openings.
Insulation resists the transfer of heat through walls, roofs, and floors. This helps keep the heat in during the winter and out during summer. The effectiveness of insulation is indicated by its resistance to heat flow, known as its “R-value.” The higher the R-value, the better.
The most common types of insulation are:
|Type||R-Value (per inch)|
* In attics. 3.2 in walls.
Today, you can also find insulation made from recycled materials like newsprint, glass, cotton, wool, and even landfill material.
Cost & Lifetime Value
- Lower utility bills—Reduces the amount of heating and air-conditioning you need.
- Increased comfort—Rooms stay warmer in winter and cooler in summer. Drafts are reduced.
- Improved indoor air quality—Stops outdoor pollutants from entering the home. Cuts uncontrolled flow of air from crawlspaces and garages.
- Increased structural durability and longevity— Reduces maintenance and make your house last longer.
- Pest Control—Prevents rodents and pests from entering.
- Noise Control—Reduces traffic, neighborhood, aircraft and other ambient noise.
Thinking of starting a project? The first step is to schedule a phone consultation with a Community Energy Project Home Advisor to find opportunities to improve the efficiency, safety and health of your home. Book a Free Phone Consult