Improving your home’s energy efficiency with upgrades and regular preventive maintenance for your heating and cooling systems is a great place to start — these systems account for most of your home’s energy use. However, to truly maximize your home’s energy efficiency you need to consider your entire home as a system. After all, it doesn’t matter how energy efficient your furnace is if insulation gaps allow cold air to pour into your home during the winter.
How Insulation Increases Home Energy Efficiency
When two adjacent spaces are different temperatures, heat moves from the warmer space to the colder space until they reach the same temperature. This is why your home’s heat leaks out during the winter and summer heat leaks in during the summer. It’s also why your heating and cooling systems have to work hardest on the coldest or hottest days — the bigger temperature difference between inside and outside cause the heat to try to close the gap faster.
Insulation works to block this transfer. Just like your coffee mug or lunch box, insulation traps heat either inside or outside your home. When you have poor insulation or gaps in your insulation, it’s almost like your home has no walls at all or you’ve left your doors and windows wide open. Many homes have just a few inches of insulation in the walls and attic. By better insulating your attic, walls, floors, and any crawlspaces or basements, you can slow the heat transfer into and out of your home and cut how much you use your heating and cooling systems to maintain a comfortable temperature.
Improving Home Performance With Insulation
Home Performance is an ENERGY STAR program that looks at how all of your home’s systems work together to affect your energy use. Upgraded insulation is one of the most common recommendations for improving energy efficiency. Here are the most common energy-saving insulation improvements:
- Attics: Many attics have light or no insulation both to lower building costs and to provide storage space. Unused areas can be cheaply filled with additional insulation to keep heat from rising out of your home.
- Walls: Spray foam insulation can be poured into exterior walls that have minimal insulation to improve energy efficiency with minimal disturbance to the rest of your home.
- Air Ducts: Heat transfer also occurs between the air flowing through your air ducts and the surrounding uncooled or unheated air in your attics or walls.
- Non-living spaces: Areas without heating or cooling such as garages, basements, and crawl spaces create pockets of air that is hotter or colder than the rest of your home. Additional insulation should be added around these areas.
Contact Pioneer Comfort Systems for your heating and cooling needs. We proudly serve Shreveport, Bossier, Natchitoches, and surrounding communities.