Fret no more! Addressing your home’s lack of insulation is easy (and relatively inexpensive), and you can dramatically increase the comfort, health, and efficiency of your home in no time.
Step 1. Sign up for a deeply-subsidized energy audit.
Investing $95 in an energy audit through Community Power Works will help you choose the appropriate upgrades for your home. This assessment lasts two to four hours and results in a customized report of your home’s energy performance. The auditor uses specialized equipment, such as infrared cameras, to pinpoint insulation gaps in your walls, ceilings, and floors, and they can depressurize your whole house to uncover the source of drafts. In addition, your auditor will perform a series of tests to assess combustion safety, indoor air quality, and any moisture damage risks.
Insulation alone will not eliminate drafts and increase comfort, so make sure to opt for air sealing whenever possible. If insulation is like your favorite fleece jacket, air sealing is like a hard-shell rain jacket. Without a rain jacket, cold air can move quickly through the fleece and leave you chilled. Put a rain jacket over the fleece, and the hard-shell acts as an air barrier, keeping you nice and warm. This phenomenon occurs because fleece (or insulation) is meant to create a “dead air space” to help retain body heat (or home heat).
Step 3. Attic, crawl space, envelope.
Best practice dictates you or your contractor approach air sealing and insulation in the following order:
- Attic space – Loose insulation is preferred. If you are interested in using the attic for conditioned storage, spray foam may be preferred.
- Crawl space or basement – Batt insulation is usually the best option for these configurations. Make sure to air seal first, insulate to the appropriate level, and use netting or rods to keep the insulation in place if needed.
- Vertical Envelope – This includes walls, windows, and doors. TIP: Make sure to upgrade wall insulation before investing in new windows.
Step 4. Good air in, bad air out.
Make sure that you consider in-home ventilation as you air seal and insulate your home.
You should have a quiet and efficient bath fan in every bathroom, as well as in the kitchen hood.
Depending on the amount of air sealing and insulation that you choose to undertake, you may need additional “whole-house” ventilation such as an Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV).
Still have questions? Call Community Power Works’ stellar customer service representatives at 206.449.1170, and we’ll connect you with an energy advisor.