Heat Leaks

Depressurize your home to help detect leaks. On a cool, very windy day, turn off the furnace. Shut all windows and doors. Turn on all fans that blow air outside, such as bathroom fans or stove vents. Then light an incense stick and pass it around the edges of common leak sites. Wherever the smoke is sucked out of or blown into the room, there's a draft.
Read More

HVAC Budget

Whether you intend to install insulation yourself or hire a contractor, make sure that you know the guaranteed minimum R-value you are looking for. Have any contractor state that installed R-value as part of the bid. Also, prepare for the project by assessing what needs to be done to reduce air infiltration before installation. Include the cost of these added components and labor in your cost calculations. Keep in mind, too, that a tight home requires ventilation, so you may need to take another look at your bathroom and whole house ventilation strategies. Armed with all of this information, select the insulation that meets your energy efficiency, budgetary, and installation requirements. The end result will be a job well done, with energy and cost savings to tally long into the future.
Read More

Soundproofing Steps

There's more to soundproofing than just insulation. "Blocking" noise with a non-hardening caulk to close off airborne sound paths. "Breaking" the sound path using resilient wood studs with metal clips. Last, isolating and eliminating “vibration” with special acoustical matting that seperates the wall structure from floor vibrations. You can get all these items in soundproofing kits for both interior and exterior residential walls. Besides blocking most noise transmission, one obvious benefit is better energy efficiency, with greater “r” values.
Read More

Retrofit Insulation

It's possible to retrofit insulation into an existing home, even without the access provided by remodeling. The choices, however, are much more limited. There are some retrofit insulation products that are designed for minimal disruption to finished wall or ceiling surfaces. Significant gains in R-value, however, may mean hiring a professional to assess your needs and devise an energy savings plan. Small or large, insulation projects can yield substantial gains in R-value and in comfort.
Read More

Adding Insulation

Install additional attic insulation at right angles to the previous layer. You don't have to use the same type of insulation - it's fine to use batts or blankets over loose-fill, or vice versa. Upgrading from three inches to 12 inches can cut heating costs by 20 percent, and cooling costs by 10 percent.
Read More

U-Value Windows

The lower the U-value, the better the insulation. In colder climates, a U-value of 0.35 or below is recommended. These windows have at least double glazing and low-e coating.
Read More

Hot Water Savings

Water heating typically accounts for 14 percent of your utility bill. Repairing leaky faucets, insulating the water heater tank and hot water pipes, and installing low-flow faucets and shower heads can result in significant additional savings.
Read More
  • 1
  • 2