Insulating a House is Important in Both Warm and Cold Climates

Regardless of what type of climate you live in, it is important to weatherize and insulate your house. There are many benefits to doing this. Saving money is probably the most important benefit. In the average home, the cooling and heating bill is over half of the total energy bill. A modest investment in insulating your home can easily be recovered in energy savings in a relatively short period of time.

Not only will a well insulated home save you money but it is also good for the environment. By reducing your energy consumption, this helps reduce pollution and also slow the depletion of natural resources that can not be replaced. It has been estimated in an average home that reducing your energy usage by 15% can save the equivalent of five hundred lbs. of coal per year. Not to mention that a well insulated home will help eliminate cold spots and drafts, resulting in a more comfortable home environment.

Here are some basic insulating tools you may need:

framing square

flat pry bar (for pushing insulation into tight places)

caulk gun

safety glasses

work gloves

dust mask

hand stapler

keyhole saw

utility knife


Other tools will be needed depending on the type of insulation that you are doing.

How to Evaluate your Home’s Energy Efficiency

Check for drafts around the windows and doors by holding a lit match to gaps at the door or window on a windy day. The flame will move or blow out, then hold the smoldering match to the area to see how the draft affects the smoke. Fluttering indicates weather stripping is inadequate, and it should be replaced or upgraded.

Next try measuring the temperature in different areas of a room. Differences of more than one or two degrees indicate that the room is poorly sealed or air movement inside the house is restricted. Update weatherstripping around doors and windows, then measure temperatures again. If the differences still exist, you may have an air flow problem with your heating system. Often, your public utility company provides information about air flow problems and how to correct them

Make a visual inspection of existing weather stripping and insulation. Look for signs of deterioration, such as crumbling foam or rubber; hardening of flexible products, such as felt or foam rubber; or damaged or torn metal stripping. Replace the products as needed. Most weatherstripping products will last only a few years so expect this to be a seasonal chore.

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