Keeping your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer is a goal of all homeowners no matter where in the country you live. Some climates have more extreme temperature swings from summer to winter, making it more difficult to keep your home interior comfortable and save on your energy bills. But with the right home maintenance and diligent inspections, you can make your home energy efficient and comfortable. Here are some tips to help you get started.
Complete a Home Energy Audit
Depending on the age of your home and its energy-efficient components, you may want to have your home checked for its energy efficiency. This type of audit, or check, will have a trained professional look at your home and its attic to check for insulation coverage.
An insulation professional can evaluate the amount and type of insulation you have installed there to make sure its R-value is of the right level to keep your home protected during summer and winter. For example, if you have rolled batting insulation, this type of barrier can shift and move around, leaving gaps between your attic rafters and flooring, where energy can escape your home. The depth of the insulation will provide a specific R-value to keep your home adequately warm in winter without excessive heating bills.
During an energy audit, the inspector can also check your home's doors and windows for energy leaks, as they can be a big contributor for this type of energy loss. Older windows made of wood frames and single glass panes may not insulate your home against heat transfer as well as they should. And cracks around your exterior doors without proper weather stripping can allow leaks as well.
Supplement Your Home's Protection Barrier
If your home's insulation levels are found to be inadequate, adding onto them is an easy process that does not require you to remove any wall materials to expose the wall cavity interior. Spray foam insulation is a great product, which can be added into the wall or insulation cavity and over existing insulation or by itself to build up the insulation's R-value. Spray foam insulation expands when it's applied so it fills in all cracks and cavities easily, and it can be sprayed right into an existing wall to boost your home's insulation protection.
Updating your home's windows to energy-efficient windows can prevent the transfer of heat in or out of your home, especially with double-paned glass windows. These windows can be filled with a low-emissivity (low-E) gas, such as argon, or they can be coated in a reflective treatment to aid in their heat transfer resistance.
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