Insulating your home is something you know you should do, but is often overlooked in favor of more visible upgrades to your home. In fact, most homeowners do not remember the insulation until there is a problem or issue. Your home should have all insulation points checked, replaced, and maintained each season to save energy and lower costs. In order to reduce your heating costs, consider updating and maintaining the following key areas.
Windows and Door Frames
Proper insulation of windows and doors can reduce energy loss and reduce your energy bills. Make sure each frame has proper insulation. A great way to ensure this happens each season is to install weatherproof windows or storm windows. These windows come in a variety of styles for colder areas, warmer areas, and all around temperature conditions. They may cost between $100 and $250 per window, but begin paying for themselves within the first year.
Laundry room vents can allow energy to escape if the vent is not properly insulated. To avoid this, make sure the shield and cover surrounding the exhaust hose from your dryer is secure with no gaps or tears. Use electrical tape to ensure any insulation is secure. Some homeowners go a step further and install a duct system that allows the air to travel outdoors, but prevents air from coming back in. This system averages $150 and can be purchased from any home improvement store.
Basements and Attics
Basements and attics are top locations for energy loss in the home. Making sure the attic is properly insulated will cut down on costs tremendously. If you want an option that will help keep energy costs down and maintain your home’s comfort, consider using denim insulation in these areas. It’s green, safe, and will insulate your home for decades rather than just a few years. Though it does cost slightly more than fiberglass, it offers a higher quality of insulating factors and less allergens than fiberglass. If you live in a home with a crawlspace, make sure that area is insulated as well.
Start with Local Programs
Before you invest in improving your home’s insulation, check to see if there are any government or utility programs that might offset your costs. For example, if you live in Massachusetts you may qualify for a free home energy audit from Mass Save. Not only will you receive a detailed inspection of your home, but you will also learn about offers and rebates to help you improve your home’s energy efficiency.