Insulate to Save Energy Costs

— Written By N.C. Cooperative Extension

Almost any time of year is a smart time of year to consider improving your home’s insulation. Properly insulating your home will not only help reduce your heating and cooling costs but also make your home more comfortable.

To determine whether you should add insulation, you first need to find out how much insulation you already have in different areas of your home. You can perform a simple home energy audit, or if you want a more through audit, a Certified Home Energy Rater can assist you.

Before you insulate, you should make sure that your home is properly air sealed. Air leakage, or infiltration, occurs when outside air enters a house uncontrollably through cracks and openings. Properly air sealing such cracks and openings in your home can significantly reduce heating and cooling costs, improve building durability, and create a healthier indoor environment.

The on-line “Do It Yourself “ audit can be accessed on the Home Energy Saver website: http://hes.lbl.gov/consumer/. Go through the home audit calculator using your house.  You begin by entering your zip code and click on go.  Answer all the questions in the session.  When you are finished make a copy of your report.

See Cooperative Extension’s E-Conservation resources to guide you. Print resources at http://www.e-conservation.net/consumers/consumerpublications.html on Insulation and Air Leaks. Additional information is available at http://www.energysavers.gov/.

Eleanor Summers
Extension Agent
Family & Consumer Sciences

Posted on Nov 19, 2010
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