Add Insulation Before the Winter Season
For southerners, the words “winter is coming” brings joy to our ears. Not only is winter a break from the intense summer heat but also a break from high cooling costs. However, winter also means potentially higher heating costs. This is where insulating comes in to play. Here are some home insulating projects that can keep your home warm in the winter and your heating costs down.
- Insulate your attic. Adding insulation to your attic can be one of the biggest money saving projects that you can do (or have done by a professional) not only during the winter but for the summer months too. There are several types of insulation that you can use: fiberglass (in batt or blown forms), cellulose, rigid foam board and spray foam. For most of the country, the US DOE recommends at least a rating of a R30 for attic insulation and at least a R13 in the walls (R-value = is a term used to measure an insulation’s resistance to heat flow). Older homes are likely to have less insulation, which causes them to use more energy leading to higher heating and air conditioning bills. Click here for more information on finding the most cost-effective insulation level for your home. Note: For your insulation to work its best, be sure to seal leaks in your attic before installing your insulation.
- Insulate your electric or natural gas water heater. While your water heater tank already has some insulation, you can save additional energy and money if you insulate it more. You can do this by applying a water heater blanket or jacket to the water heater tank. Look for ones that have an insulating value of at least an R-8. For safety, just be sure not to cover the top, bottom, thermostat, or burner compartment of the water heater.
- Insulate pipes. Insulate the first six feet of your hot and cold water pipes and it will save energy and water. Think about the amount of water wasted when running tap water till it turns warm. Now if the pipes are wrapped and insulated, the water will stay warmer longer. So you won’t need to wait as long for the water to warm thus using less water and less energy.