Insulation and Air Sealing
Insulation and air sealing are important components in all homes. They provide comfort during different seasons, reduce temperature fluctuations and save money and energy.
Insulation provides resistance to heat flow, and the more heat flow resistance your insulation provides, the lower your heating and cooling costs. An insulating material’s resistance to conductive heat flow is measured or rated in terms of its thermal resistance or R-value: the higher the R-value, the greater the insulating effectiveness. The R-value depends on the type of insulation, its thickness and its density.
Check your insulation and install where missing, or replace it if it’s below these “R” values: R-30 for ceilings; R-11 for walls; and R-19 for floors. Many energy providers offer rebates to help cover the cost of insulation as well as programs that offer insulation at no cost for income-qualified customers. If you have an old water heater tank, wrap it with an insulating jacket (be careful not to cover the air intake valve) to save up to 10% on water heating costs.
Air Sealing and Weatherization
Air leakage through doors, windows and walls not only leads to uncomfortable drafts, it also wastes energy and increases your costs. In California, 30% of energy used in the home is for heating and cooling. Adding insulation and filling gaps around doors and windows with caulk, spray foam and batting are some of the quickest and most cost-effective ways to reduce wasteful air leakage. Specially trained contractors can help you identify areas in your home where air leaks can be sealed.
Proper ventilation is important, but unwanted air drafts make your home less comfortable. Sealing reduces leaks and drafts in which treated air can escape from your home, making your air conditioner or furnace work even harder. Sealing creates a controlled barrier between inside and outside air.