Insulation is one of the keys to a comfortable, energy-efficient home. But simply having the right amount of insulation is not enough. If insulation is not properly installed, a home can have excessive heat gain during the summer and heat loss in the winter-forcing the heating and cooling systems to work overtime.
Properly installed insulation will completely blanket the home-exterior walls, ceiling, and floors-without gaps, voids, or compressions, and it will be in full contact with the interior air barrier (for example, drywall). Continuous sealing of the air barrier along the insulation is also critical to protecting against moisture damage that can be caused by warm airflow through the insulation to colder surfaces where it can condense. Expect ENERGY STAR® qualified homes to have insulation that meets or exceeds the latest national code requirements, providing year-round comfort while reducing utility bills.
Benefits of Properly Installed Insulation:
- Enhanced Comfort: Properly installed insulation minimizes temperature variability indoors and helps keep rooms warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
- Lower Utility Bills: As much as half of the energy used in your home goes to heating and cooling. By preventing heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer, a properly installed insulation barrier reduces utility bills year round.
- Improved Durability: When insulation is properly installed, the potential for condensation that can lead to decay of building materials is reduced, helping to improve the durability of your home.
- Better Resale Position: The improved comfort, lower utility bills, and improved durability of a properly installed insulation barrier can translate into higher resale value compared to less efficient homes.
Heating and cooling will account for 50 to 70% of the energy used in your new home. The leading cause of energy waste comes from inadequate insulation and air leakage, which is why you need to work closely with your builder when it comes time to selecting the right insulation for your home. Keep in mind that the amount of energy you conserve will depend on several factors: your local climate; the size, shape, and construction of your house; the living habits of your family; the type and efficiency of the heating and cooling systems; and the fuel you use.