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.
Attic work is hot and tiring. Work in the morning before it gets hot and keep lots of cool liquids handy to avoid over heating.
Install tight-fitting, insulating window shades on windows that feel drafty after weatherizing.
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.
To save on heating and cooling costs, close your curtains and shades at night; open them during the day.
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.
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.
By simply caulking, sealing, and weatherstripping around all your windows, outside doors, or where plumbing, ducting, and electrical wiring penetrate exterior walls, floors or ceilings, you can save 10 to 25 percent of your heating bill.
Look for dirty spots in your insulation, which often indicate holes where air leaks into and out of your house. You can seal the holes by stapling sheets of plastic over the holes and caulking the edges of the plastic.