Insulate your home and your wallet
As winter progresses, are you wishing that you had taken some time to weatherize your home last fall? Air leakage accounts for 25–40% of the energy used for heating and cooling in a typical home. Stopping air leaks is the first step and the best way to conserve energy and increase comfort. If you don’t tighten up your home first, other improvements (like windows and insulation) may not be as effective. Insulation slows heat transfer, but it is easily compromised by airflow. Fortunately, air infiltration is one of the easiest forms of energy loss to correct.
The process only requires a careful inspection of your home and some inexpensive weatherstripping, caulking, or other filler material such as canned spray foam. A homeowner may also choose to hire a home energy auditor to conduct a blower door test to identify areas of the home that may need sealing. CCEC does not perform blower door tests, but there are local contractors that provide this service.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), if your home is more than 20 years old and was not specifically constructed for energy efficiency, additional insulation may help lower your energy bills and increase the comfort level of your home. To start, determine how much insulation you already have in your home and where it is located. Many homeowners find peace of mind hiring a qualified, local contractor to assess their current insulation levels and how to improve or upgrade the insulation in their home. A contractor will walk you through the process of what areas need to be addressed.
There are a couple of critical areas that your contractor may point out. A prime location that is chronically under-insulated is the attic. If you have R-19 or less insulation in your attic, consider bringing it up to R-49, which is suitable for our frigid winters. An uninsulated basement or rim joist area would be another good spot to insulate. Remember, with proper air sealing, the higher the R-value, the greater the insulating effectiveness. With some early preparation, you can keep an eye on your heating bills and keep your home toasty this winter. As always, Cass County Electric is here to assist you with any home energy questions you may have.
Energy efficiency tip of the month:
Looking for an easy way to make your home cozier? Try using an area rug to increase the insulation levels of your floors. Area rugs are stylish and can keep cool air from entering through your floors. Your toes will thank you!
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