Living in an aged home doesn't mean that you need to deal with extremes in temperature throughout the year. Many homes that were built before the '80s were built without sufficient insulation. So, if you have such a home, you definitely need to improve your current insulation so that it is up to standard. This will ensure the home is comfortable throughout the year while helping you to save as much as 10 to 50% on your electricity and heating bills.
Now, the amount of money that you can possibly save would depend heavily on how much insulation you need to get as well as your particular heating system.
Be sure to look at the different types of insulation materials and check the label. The label should state the R-value per inch which shows the resistance to heat transfer. Learn more about R Values of insulation. So, bigger values would indicate that the material offers better insulation. In areas where there are tight spaces, you should use insulation that has a high R-value. When you need to insulate attics or basements, you'll have more room and you can get better insulation by utilizing a thicker layer of the insulating material if it has a low R-value.
Typically, when you add more insulation, you'll save more cash. However, there is a particular point where you'll spend more on the insulating materials than you'll save on your bills. This point varies according to the geographical area that you live. So, talk to your Department of Energy so you can get the correct insulation recommendation for your area.
One of the best places to start insulating is the attic since it will be very easy and inexpensive to do so. You can save even more money by ensuring that you deal with any air leaks and completely seal them off. By improving the insulation in this room from R-11 to R-49 you can potentially save as much as $600 per year in heating alone. Learn more here.
With that said, the amount of insulation you add would depend on your area, so make sure you find out the recommended amount. Once you get this figure, subtract the amount of insulation you already have. If you're unsure of these figures, be sure to do an online Home Energy Saver audit.
You can improve the insulation in your attic in two main ways. If you have an unfinished attic area, all you'll need to do is add insulating layers to the existing layers on the attic's floor. However, if you want to finish the attic, you can insulate the roof. This is a great method if there are any cooling or heating ducts in the area. It is also recommended if the area you live in is humid and you want to avoid a musty-smelling attic.
It is best to use sprayed foam polyurethane for insulating your roof simply because it conforms to the shape of your rafters. It effectively seals against water vapor and it has a great R-rating. It will cost you double the amount of loose-fill insulation, so keep that in mind.
If there is no insulation you can easily place insulation in stud bays. All the contractor needs to do is create holes on the exterior or interior of your wall and blow the material into it.
However, if you do have some insulation in your walls, then you most likely won't be able to add more without damaging the plaster and drywall. It is also not cost-efficient if you're not remodeling your home. Instead, it is better to wait a bit until you need to change your siding and then add insulation under the new one.
You may be familiar with the fact that hot air tends to rise, however, your home will easily lose heat in just about every direction. Therefore, you also need to insulate the bottom of your home as well as the sides and top. If you fail to insulate the bottom of your home you can experience 30% energy loss. When it comes to the attic, you can choose to either insulate the walls as if it is any other indoor room or you can insulate the floor and use it as an outdoor space or basement. If you choose to use it as an indoor area, you'll have to close off any vents that aren't related to exhaust.
Most people opt for floor insulation, however, wall insulating is quite beneficial. Wall insulation will cost you a lot less since you would need 33% less material if the area is 36 x 48 feet. One particular tip that many builders don't understand is that you can add a layer of rigid foam on the foundation and this will help a great deal in preventing condensation and moisture on your walls. If you decide to finish your basement you can use a stud wall filled with unfaced fiberglass insulation and drywall to cover up the foam.