Northern Michigan’s natural beauty brings with it the fierce winters that make us all glad our homes are well insulated. If you have any doubts about the insulation in your home, here are four ways to make sure yours is up to the task.
R-value is a comparative measure of any material’s ability to resist (that’s the R”) heat loss. Higher R-value means better insulating ability. The secret to most insulation is not the material; it’s the amount of air it traps. The more air it traps, the more it resists heat loss or transfer. Increase R-value wherever you can, even on top of existing materials:
- Add rolled batts in the attic (without paper backing) to get up to at least R-38
- Add rigid foam board in crawlspaces (walls, ductwork, but not on the “ceiling” of the crawlspace)
- Insulate hot water pipes with split foam sleeves
- Wrap an insulating blanket around the water heater if you have an older model that didn’t come with factory insulation
Find Uninsulated Pockets
After tackling big spaces, check for small heat losses:
- Open electrical outlets and spray expanding foam around the outside of them (into the wallspace, not into the outlet)
- Check windows and doors for air leaks, adding weatherstripping and caulk where needed
- Insulate the top of your attic entrance hatchway and apply weatherstripping around the perimeter
- For an attached garage, adding a storm door on the garage side of the doorway into your home keeps heated air inside
You could lose up to 20 percent of your furnace’s expensively heated air through poorly sealed ducts. Check and reseal duct joints with mastic or butyl-backed metal tape (not duct tape). Insulate ducts passing through uninhabited space. Better still, for complete sealing, hire a trustworthy professional HVAC contractor.
Bring in the Professionals
If you suspect your home’s walls lack insulation, you do not have to tear down drywall to boost energy efficiency. Hire professional contractors to blow in expanding foam insulation through small holes in the wall, easily covered after the job is done.
For more help increasing your Grand Traverse County home’s insulation energy efficiency, please contact us today at Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about insulation and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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