Halloween is right around the corner and as the days grow shorter we are transitioning into a darker, colder and spookier season. While many people have different fears and worries, financial fears remain a common denominator. Imagine if there was a leak in your wallet and you were slowly losing money. Pretty scary right? A drafty house is just as comparable and worrisome, a slow drain from your house that decreases your comfort and increases your bills. Fortunately, there is a quick and economical fix: air sealing and proper insulation! Studies have shown that many homeowners overestimate how efficient their homes are. Many assume that if a home is newer it will be energy efficient, however, building codes specify only the bare minimum; and insulating beyond what the code requires is often recommended.
Current insulation materials and designs are meant to address the main methods of heat transfer; conduction, radiation, and convection. Different types of insulation have different properties and strengths or weaknesses depending on which method of heat transfer is being addressed. To determine whether you should add insulation, you first need to find out how much insulation you already have in your home and where. If you are a DIYer and don’t mind getting into the tight areas of your house (such as crawl spaces and attics) you can determine if you have sufficient insulation by using a ruler to judge the depth of insulation. Otherwise, a qualified home energy auditor will include an insulation check as a routine part of a whole-house energy audit. If your insulation is less than R-30 (11 inches of fiberglass or rock wool or 8 inches of cellulose), you could probably benefit by adding more.
If you are a resident of Boulder County and are interested in making your home more energy efficient, don’t hesitate to contact the county’s EnergySmart service. EnergySmart offers discounted energy audits, significant rebates on upgrades such as insulation, and a free advising service to help answer any questions that may pop up. According to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, about 6 percent of the entire US energy consumption can be attributed to the energy used by heating and cooling equipment in compensating for heat transfer through opaque sections of building roofs and walls. That is a frightening statistic for homeowners, it is as if the cold air is creeping into our homes like a ghost to steal our money and haunt our energy bill! Don’t be spooked though, because the solution is easy and cost effective! Instead of focusing on ghosts and ghouls this Halloween, check your home for invisible leaks that could be wasting you money. For assistance and financial incentives to save you even more money contact EnergySmart today: 303-544-1000 or EnergySmartYES.com.