Sealing your home's attic, outer walls, doors, windows, and floors is often the most cost effective way to improve energy efficiency and your family's comfort. With careful attention to drafts and under insulated area of your home, can save up to 20% on heating and cooling costs by sealing and insulating.
Follow These Three Energy Saving Improvements:
- Seal air leaks throughout the home to stop drafts
- Add insulation to block heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer
- Choose an ENERGY STAR® qualified furnace, water heater and air conditioner
Some air leaks are easy to find because they can be felt — like those around windows and doors. But holes hidden in your attic, crawlspace, and basement are often a bigger source of energy loss. Sealing these leaks with caulk, expanding spray foam, or weather strip will have a significant impact on your family's comfort and reduce your utility bills.
Will Sealing My Home Affect Indoor Air Quality?
There is often a concern about sealing a house too tightly; however, this is very unlikely in most older homes in the Chicago area. Some fresh air is needed for good indoor air quality and there are specifications that set the minimum amount of fresh air needed for a house.
To be safe, after any home insulating and sealing project, have an ABC home comfort specialist check to make sure that your home's combustion appliances (gas- or oil-fired furnace, water heater, and dryer) are venting properly.
Choosing the Right Insulation For Your Home
Insulation will keep your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. There are several common types of insulation — fiberglass (in both batt and blown forms), cellulose, rigid foam board, and spray foam. Reflective insulation (or radiant barrier) is another insulating product which can help save energy.
When correctly installed with air sealing, each type of insulation can deliver comfort and lower energy bills during the hottest and coldest times of the year.
Insulation performance is measured by R-value — its ability to resist heat flow. Higher R-values mean more insulating power. Different R-values are recommended for walls, attics, basements and crawlspaces, depending on your area of the country. Insulation works best when air is not moving through or around it. So it is very important to seal air leaks before installing insulation to ensure that you get the best performance from the insulation.
To get the biggest savings, the easiest place to add insulation is usually in the attic. A quick way to see if you need more insulation is to look across your uncovered attic floor. If your insulation is level with or below the attic floor joists, you probably need to add more insulation. The recommended insulation level for most attics is R-38 (or about 12–15 inches, depending on the insulation type).
Seal Air Ducts
In houses with forced-air heating and cooling systems, air ducts distribute heated and cooled air throughout the house. In a typical house, about 20 percent of the air that moves through the duct system is lost due to leaks and poorly sealed connections. The result is higher utility bills and an uncomfortable home, no matter how the thermostat is set.
Because some ducts are concealed in walls and between floors, repairing them can be difficult. However, exposed ducts in attics, basements, crawlspaces, and garages can be repaired by sealing the leaks with duct sealant. In addition, insulating ducts that run through spaces that get hot in summer or cold in winter – like attics, garages, or crawlspaces – can save energy.
Choose ENERGY STAR® Heating & Air Conditioning Systems
If you are replacing your furnace and air conditioning equipment,ABC will installs your new system according to ENERGY STAR quality installation guidelines. This includes a thorough inspection of your duct system, including proper sealing and balancing of ductwork, to help ensure that your new system delivers the most comfort and efficiency.