Does your house benefit from the energy savings of insulation?

July 5, 2011

Many homeowners may not know it, but they are losing hundreds of dollars each year in energy bills. In order for a house to be energy efficient, it must be properly insulated. Conditioned space or the space in the home that is lived in (heated in the winter and cooled in the summer) makes up what is called an envelope. Spaces that are not included in this envelope are attics and basements or crawl spaces; given that they are not used for living space. Living space needs to be cut off from air bypass to unconditioned areas by properly insulating. In the basement, there should be insulation on the ceiling and all penetrations to the first floor should be cut off from good communication by filling in small cracks or spaces with caulking. In the attic, there should be insulation on the floor and again, all penetrations to the floor below should be sealed off. This includes lighting fixtures on the floor below. By sealing off these gaps, it is beneficial to the homeowner because they are creating a sealed pressure barrier and they are reducing energy that is being lost into the unconditioned spaces. The attic should also be ventilated by clear soffit vents or ridge vents- these vents should not be covered up with insulation. Insulation should also be put into walls that are in contact with outside walls. Homeowners can save up to 55% of their energy in their home by insulating properly, so it goes to show that it really pays off!

Intern Sarah Schaeffer