Step by Step Guide to Insulating Your House
Keep the cold at bay
As humans, we don’t like to be too cold or too warm. When we’re at home, we like to be comfortable - after all, there’s a reason there’s something called “room temperature” out there!
Good insulation in your home is vital not only for your comfort, but for your bottom line. If your house is not properly insulated, not only will you feel uncomfortable when the weather goes to one extreme or another - but you’ll also take a hit in the financial department! The less insulated your house is, the more you’ll have to pay to make it comfortable.
So, how can you go ahead and make sure your house doesn’t lose any of that precious, precious comfort? Well, we’ve gone ahead and put together a step-by-step guide to insulating your house. Follow these steps and you’re sure to have a wonderful atmosphere in your abode all year long.
- Find Out Where You’ll Need Insulation - The first step in the process is to examine your home and see what places you’ll need to increase the insulation on. Check all the rooms in the house to see where the air seeps in and out - doors, floors, windows, the attic, etc. Before you go ahead and explore what you need to do to the house, it’s very important you find out what kind of shape the house is actually in for the winter. Take a good hard look at your energy bills from the prior year, too, to determine the baseline amount you spent - so you can get a sense of how effective your insulating process was this year.
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- Check in on Existing Insulation - This is especially important in older houses. If you have the ability - or if you can employ a professional - get a sense of what kind of insulation already exists in the house, and whether it should be upgraded. The older the house, the older and more ineffective the insulation may be; in fact, there’s a chance that the insulation could even include asbestos. It’s vital that you check the situation before you go ahead with insulating your house.
- Determine What Kind of Insulation You’ll Need - Insulation’s effectiveness is determined by what’s known as “r-values” - you can get a primer on r-values here. Different levels of insulation will have different r-values. Use these r-values to determine what level of insulation is appropriate for your home and your environment; consult with a professional if needed.
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- Start With the Attic - In most cases, the loft should be the first place you should look at to install insulation. Since most of the heat in the home will rise and escape through the loft, making sure that room is well insulated is absolutely essential to any sort of home insulation process. Be sure all of the gaps and the spaces in the attic are covered in the type of insulation you’re putting in - glass wool is a good idea, for example - and you’ll prevent that head from leaving and save yourself plenty of money in the long run. The insulation that can be put in the attic is generally much cheaper than the insulation that needs to be in the rest of the house, too.
- Seal off the Doors - A lot of energy can escape through the small cracks and spaces in and around the doors. Work to seal that energy loss off. One trip to the DIY store and you can pick up draught excluders and sealant strips for the smaller spaces, and brush trims for any larger ones (letter boxes, the bottom of the door, etc).
- Work on the Windows - The windows are another sure-fire place where energy can escape. Be sure to check around all of your windows to see where the air seems to flow. If it does, go ahead and seal those leaks up with some type of putty or caulk. Additionally, you can also explore replacing the windows with something more energy-efficient, like double-glazed windows; these type of windows will increase solar gain in the cold winter months.
- Insulate Exposed Pipes - Finally, be sure to put insulation around the exposed pipes in your basement. This will reduce the heat loss and boost the hot water temperature delivered to your faucets and showers. It’s a very simple process that you should be able to do on your own, too, and the type of equipment and time needed - no more than three hours, at a small cost for just a small bit of insulation or pipe sleeves - is well worth the effort.