Insulation, Energy Savings & Air Leaks

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates American homeowners can save up to 20 percent of heating and cooling costs by sealing air leaks and adding insulation to their homes.

Insulation energy savings translate into lower heating and cooling bills for homeowners, while helping to conserve the nation's limited natural resources. Proper insulation and air sealing keeps homes warmer in winter and cooler in summer.

Insulation Energy Saving Tips

Some areas of the house need more insulation than other areas. Adding insulation to floors, walls, attics, crawl spaces and basement rim joists can all increase your energy savings.

An R-value describes the level of insulation needed for a particular area. Attics in the northern states have an average insulation value of R-15, while southern attics have insulation values as low as R-13. Increasing attic R-values to R-38 in either location provides significant energy savings. Often R-values can be increased simply by adding new insulation to existing insulation.

Basement rim joists and the floors over crawl spaces often have R-values of R-0, or no insulation at all. Improving insulation in these areas to R-11 increases energy savings.

When considering insulation energy savings, consider your home's individual needs rather than national averages. How much insulation your home needs depends on multiple factors, including:

  • Family habits
  • Fuel used for heating and cooling
  • Heating and cooling system model and efficiency
  • Local climate
  • Materials used in your home's construction
  • Shape and size of your home.

Local building authorities or contractors should be able to tell you the recommended R-values for a house in your area.

Air Leak Energy Saving Tips

Insulation reduces air movement and heat transference. Insulation does not prevent air from leaking out of cracks or holes in your home. To get the maximum possible energy savings, seal cracks and holes around windows and doors, in basements, attics and external walls.

Air leaks in heating ducts also cause energy loss. Seal all duct work and insulate ducts to minimize heat loss.

Need More Help?

If you need professional help with your project, LendingTree Home Pros can help.

The good news is that LendingTree Home Pros maintains a directory of home service professionals and can match you with a home pro in your area. All the home pros listed in the LendingTree Home Pros directory are properly licensed and insured and are backed by a $10,000 money-back guarantee!

Let LendingTree Home Pros help you find a pro today!

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