One of the best ways you can save on energy bills is to have the proper amount and type of insulation in your home. Good insulation is a huge benefit for all homes, especially older homes. If you notice that your energy bills are high, if you have just purchased a new home, or if you simply want to update an existing home, you will need to check several areas of the home to ensure they have the right insulation.
Putting in insulation can be done on your own or you can hire a professional to do the job. Additionally, you can purchase insulation in sheets or material that can be blown in. If you plan to do the work yourself, remember that you will be in hot, cramped spaces, often working in uncomfortable positions. For this reason, you need to plan taking several breaks.
- First, always start with the unfinished attic. For this part of the home, you will need to make sure you have insulation between and on top of the floor joists, and use insulation on the access door to the attic.
- If you have an unfinished attic room, with or without a dormer, then the studs of the knee walls will need to be insulated along with the rafters and studs of the exterior walls and the roof, and the ceiling over any spaces that get very cold. Additionally, you will need to extend the insulation into the joist space, which is great for reducing airflow.
- Throughout the house, you need to have all the exterior walls insulated. Additionally, be sure the walls between living spaces, shed roofs, storage areas of the home, or unheated garages are well insulated.
- Any foundation walls located above ground level, foundation walls located in heated basements, and full walls, whether they are exterior or interior will need to have insulation.
- For any cold spaces in the home, you want the floors to be insulated. This would include unheated garages, as mentioned as well as vented crawl spaces.
- Floor space that is cantilevered going beyond the exterior wall will need to have insulation and foundation walls of crawl spaces without vents.
- Band joists
- Be sure all storm or replacement windows are both caulked and sealed to keep out cold and hot air from the exterior
The first step is to measure the area where the insulation will be added. Then, cut the fiberglass batting the size you need, cutting about an inch longer so the fit is very snug. Once you have the insulation in place, simply staple it to the boards or rafters, using a staple gun. The job will take a little bit of time but the lower energy bills will be worth the time and effort.