BY GRACE HENRY ON JUNE 14, 2022HOMEOWNER HELP
A well-insulated home can keep you comfortable throughout every season. But did you know that when insulation keeps conditioned air from escaping the house, it also helps lower heating and cooling costs? The EPA estimates that 15 percent can be saved on heating and cooling costs by adding insulation.
If you live in an older home, NAIMA recommends conducting an energy audit to ensure insulation is up to code. The audit will test the important insulation locations in your home, such as the attic, floors, walls, and basements.
DIY Insulation and Energy Audit
Attic Space – First, for a swift energy audit, conduct a walk-through of your attic. Look for holes in the ceiling; no light should shine through into the attic. Inspect existing insulation for black spots; this indicates that dust and air can travel through the insulation. If you notice one or more of these things, it’s time to inspect your insulation levels. Use this checklist to ensure your attic is well insulated.
- Check the attic door is insulated and closes tightly.
- Inspect sealed openings such as pipes, ductwork, and chimneys. If you need to seal any openings, it is recommended to seal using an expanding foam spray and, if the opening produces heat, a non-combustible one.
- Insulation should be covering the attic floor. EasyTouch™ is an excellent option for adding insulation to your attic space. It is easy to install, cost-effective, and helps conserve energy.
Exterior Walls – Checking insulation levels in an exterior wall is more involved than our attic inspection. If you suspect additional insulation is needed, but do not feel comfortable conducting this test, please reach out to our credentialed contractors. Energy.gov recommends inspecting insulation by inspecting behind an electrical outlet cover plate on every floor. To do so, follow these steps.
- Before beginning, turn off the circuit breaker for the section of the house you will be testing. This is critical for your safety.
- Remove the outlet cover and use a flashlight to observe the exterior wall insulation. Doing so will help you determine the insulation thickness.
- Pull out a piece of insulation from your wall to identify its type.
- Lastly, measure the thickness of the insulation in inches to determine the R-value.
Optima® Blown-In Insulation is an excellent option for adding insulation to your exterior wall. It will fill any void and create uniform coverage, optimizing thermal efficiency in your home.
Basement/Crawl Space – Inspect your basement for any cracks or holes. Like the attic inspection, no light should be shining through the walls. If your basement is a conditioned space, add insulation to your walls. We offer insulation specifically designed to accommodate basements walls with two perforated facings, white PSK and standard FSK.
Air Barrier and Vapor Retarder
Now that you have carefully completed your home energy and insulation audit, you can consider the essential accessories needed to support your insulation’s performance. It’s recommended that both an air barrier and vapor retarder are installed. Lucky for you, our MemBrain™ Continuous Air Barrier & Smart Vapor Retarder offers both features in one product, providing your home with a better performing building envelope and year-round moisture protection!