Keeping warm in winter, or cool in summer, can be difficult in an older home. If you are looking to improve your house’s insulation, there are several simple and great ways to upgrade your home’s temperature retention. Modern developments have put more and more cost-effective insulation-improving technologies on the market, giving you a wide range of choices to consider. Read on to see some great insulation tips.
Air Duct Cleaning and Sealing
Energy efficient HVAC systems are extremely useful for controlling the heating and cooling inside of your home. However, those great systems also come with a frustratingly high cost, which is why it is important to keep your HVAC running as efficiently, and cleanly, as possible. Part of that cleanliness comes in the form of air duct cleaning. Over time, air ducts naturally accumulate dust, grime, dirt, and other random debris. When the system gets too dirty, it has to work harder in order to set your desired temperature, leading to higher bills for you. Duct sealing enables you to extend the lifespan of your HVAC system, save on energy costs, and have better air quality in your home. Air duct cleaning (and sealing) can be done both by yourself and through contractors, so we recommend looking into both options before deciding which one is best for you to pursue.
Window and Door Upgrades
Your windows may be drafty, ugly, and hard to clean. If that sounds familiar, consider replacing all or some of them with new windows. They will look great, keep comfortable air in while keeping hot or freezing air out, and can often improve you home’s energy efficiency. There are all sorts of types of windows, making it easy to match your house’s styling. Best of all, you can recoup most of your investment if you eventually decide to sell your home sometime in the future. Similarly to new windows, installing new doors can make your exterior look better, reduce drafts, and lower energy costs. Door replacements can be handled through contracting or by installing them yourself as well. We definitely recommend upgrading your windows or doors.
Insulated Concrete Form (IFC) construction is a modern technique of building homes that are strong and energy efficient. ICF home design enables homebuilders to acquire many benefits not found in normal houses, such as being far more energy efficient than conventional homes. Most ICF structures feature net zero building benefits — they are far more better at insulating than wood frame construction. Furthermore, if your house is in a region frequented with tornados, ICF homes are built to be tornado proof housing. Furthermore, they are one of only a few houses that can withstand hurricanes, making them desirable by many of those live in disaster-prone areas. ICF houses can be almost any style or size a homeowner desires, and can accommodate a wide range of budgets. Even conventional house plans can easily be converted to a modern home design. However, ICF is a great choice for custom home builders, not necessarily for remodelers.
Upgrade Your Insulation
If you have an old, drafty home, you need to upgrade your insulation. In terms of what installation you should use, building installation falls into four categories- batts, loose fill, rigid insulation boards, and expanding sprays. Each has different purposes, and research them to decide which one suits your home best. Additionally, insulation comes with what is called an ‘R-value’ (the higher the R-value, the better it insulates), so be sure to choose the one appropriate to your region. There are also green insulation products if you desire to be environmentally friendly, such as cotton, polyiso insulation, and blown-in cellulose insulation. Whichever material you ultimately decide on, improving your insulation is definitely a good goal.
Matt Lee is the owner of the Innovative Construction and Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.