Insulation Tips to Save Money and Energy

There is nothing worse than feeling cold and uncomfortable in your own home, and this is the case for a lot of people that live in old houses that were built before 1940. Most of these homes had no insulation at all while those that did have deteriorated in quality and effectiveness over time. However, there are so many cost-effective siding Kansas City, MO solutions today that there’s really no need to wear a hundred sweaters when you’re indoors just because it’s cold.

Here are some tips on how to be smart with your home insulation so that you can save money and energy at the same time:

Decide Whether You Need Insulation

First, find out if your home has existing insulation by checking if there’s any loose fill wedged in between the joists in your ceiling, or any patched holes on the exterior walls, as both are indicative of blow-in insulation. Then, inspect your home for any holes that may be causing heat loss on your windows, ducts, recessed lighting or electrical outlets. Also make sure that the dampers in your fireplace are working properly to avoid the heat from seeping through, and check if there is any insulation on your roof so that you can figure out which areas need Kansas City siding the most.  

Deal with Existing Insulation

Unfortunately, 19th-century contractors used quite primitive materials for insulation such as seaweed, wood shavings, newspaper and even corn cobs, which although harmless, tend to wear out over time leaving your house vulnerable to heat loss and drafts. That said, these materials are safe enough to be left alone and you can add new insulation on top of them, whereas materials like urea-formaldehyde and asbestos are known carcinogens that have to be encapsulated before new insulation is installed. They have to be tested as well to make sure that they’re not giving off any harmful gases.

Choose a Form of Insulation

There are generally four types of insulation available on the market to choose from, namely; batt insulation which consists of cotton, different wools and fiberglass; loose fill which is made up of glass fibers, mineral and cellulose; expanding sprays that consist of proprietary systems; as well as rigid boards, which are basically made from glass fibers or plastic foams. Ammonium-free cellulose is the recommended vinyl siding Kansas City, MO choice for old homes, while batt insulation and rigid boards are ideal for restorative projects that call for a complete removal of walls and ceilings in the home.

Figure Out How Much Insulation You Need

An insulation material’s ability to lock in heat is assessed according to the material’s R-value, meaning its ability to resist heat flow. A greater R-value denotes better insulation performance suitable for cold climates, whereas a lower R-value means that the insulation is better suited for warmer climates and is less effective in really cold weather.

Find Out Where to Install Insulation

This depends on your house but a good place to start in any home is usually the attic roof. If construction on your attic remains unfinished, then you can install the insulation on the floors, while an actively used attic can have the insulation installed between the rafters. Just be sure to avoid blocking the gable vents on your roof when installing insulation there, as this might lead to moisture problems. Batt-in or blow-in insulation is seriously discouraged around ancient knob-and-tube wiring if your house has any.

Limit Moisture Problems

Try installing the insulation so that the vapor barrier is placed in a direction that faces the common living areas, or rather consult the manufacturers of the insulation product that you’re using for advice on where and how to place it.

Go for Green Alternatives

Opt for eco-friendly and energy efficient siding Kansas City, MO options such as insect-repellent cotton insulation that’s manufactured from recycled denim. Materials that are made from recycled newspaper include Homasote fiberboard and blown-in cellulose, and then there’s polyisocyanurate, which contains a higher R-rating value than all the other materials combined.