Insulation Facts for First-Time Homeowners
Insulation Facts for First-Time Homeowners
September 5, 2019
You did it! After years of saving up and searching for the right home, you finally found the right place for your household! Take a minute to give yourself a pat on the back, because finding a home isn’t an easy process. However, it’s important to know that homeownership does not end there. There are many other issues you must take care of in order to make your new house feel safe and comfortable.
One of these matters is insulation. According to the Department of Energy, adding insulation can save you up to 20 percent on heating and cooling costs – and 10 percent on total energy costs. So, while insulation may not be the first thing on your mind, it should still be on your to-do list as it can save you money in the long run. To help you insulate your new home, here is DFW Thermal’s guide to insulation facts for first-time homeowners.
The Right Insulation for Your home
When looking to properly insulate your home, you should consider the types of insulation on the market and what makes them so different from each other. Here are some important things to keep in mind when you’re searching insulation:
The R-value of insulation indicates how effective the insulation is at blocking airflow. The R-value depends on the type of insulation, its thickness and its density. So, the greater the R-value, the more effective the insulation. The Department of Energy has designated an R-value requirement for every climatic region in the United States. The Dallas Ft. Worth area has a generally low R-value.
- The Type of Insulation
First, we have fiberglass, which is the most common type of insulation. It can be blown in or installed in batts. It is relatively inexpensive at $0.64 per foot and has an R-value between 2.9 and 3.8.
Cellulose insulation can only be blown in and has roughly the same R-value and price as fiberglass. It is also treated to be non-flammable and mold proof.
Spray foam has a foamy, creamy appearance but after it dries it turns into hard material that can prevent pests. There are two types of spray foam insulation: open and closed cell. Open cell has a relatively lower R-value between 3.6 and 3.8. Closed cell is denser, with a higher R-value above 6. Open cell is also less expensive, with a cost of $0.65 per foot – while closed cell costs $1.50 per foot.
Radiant barrier insulation does not rely on density for effectiveness. This type of insulation uses reflective, foil-like material to send heat back out through your roof.
What Parts Should Be Insulated
As you know by now, a well-insulated home can make a big difference in your heating and cooling bills. For optimal energy-efficiency, it’s important the right parts of your home are well insulated, such as the crawlspaces and attic. These parts of your home need insulation because this is where heat usually escapes.
However, before you go out and start buying insulation, it’s important to verify that your new home needs new insulation. It might, considering over time insulation deteriorates and shifts. If you’re looking to insulate your attic, perform a visual inspection of your attic space. If you notice that the insulation level is below or aligned with the top of the floor joists, you will need more insulation.
However, if you can’t see the floor joists, that does not mean you have enough insulation—you will still have to measure the R-value between the floor joists, to ensure your attic is properly insulated.
Whatever part of your home you’re planning to insulate, make sure you inspect the amount or type of insulation you have – and find its R-value. Keep in mind, that different parts of your home might need different types of insulation.
Find Any Gaps or Leakages
Your new home might have gaps and cracks that might be causing air to leak out. This might lead your HVAC system to work harder and increase your heating and cooling bills. To detect leaks, you can use a thermal leak detector at windows, walls and ceilings. In addition, you might have to crawl up into your attic and pull back any insulation to check for small gaps in the caulking. If this is something you are new to, it is best to let a reliable professional handle it.
Insulate Your New Home with DFW Thermal!
We hope this guide to insulation facts for first-time homeowners is helpful. If you need to learn more about the insulation options for your new home, get in touch with the pros at DFW Thermal. We provide the DFW area with high-quality products and top-notch service. Call us today at 214-731-3115 or schedule an appointment online.