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  • Writer's pictureINSPECTION PROS

How Insulation Is Only Part of the Process to Save Energy in a Home

Insulation is one of the most effective ways to improve the energy efficiency of your home. It reduces the heat transfer between the inside and outside of your house, which means you need less heating and cooling to maintain a comfortable temperature. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, insulation can save you up to 15% on your heating and cooling costs and 11% on your total energy usage.


But insulation is not the only factor that affects your home’s energy performance. There are other aspects of your home that can also influence how much energy you use and how much you pay for it. In this blog post, we will highlight some of the other ways you can save energy in your home, such as:

  • Installing energy-efficient appliances

  • Weather stripping and sealing air leaks

  • Upgrading windows and doors

Insulation is one of the most effective ways to improve the energy efficiency of your home.
Picture by: Inspection Pros

Installing Energy-Efficient Appliances

Appliances are responsible for about 13% of your home’s energy consumption. That means that by choosing appliances that use less energy, you can significantly reduce your energy bills and your environmental impact. Energy-efficient appliances are designed to perform the same functions as conventional appliances, but with less electricity or gas.


Some examples of energy-efficient appliances are:

  • Refrigerators that have the ENERGY STAR label, which means they use at least 15% less energy than the federal standard

  • Dishwashers that have the ENERGY STAR label, which means they use at least 5% less energy and 15% less water than the federal standard.

  • Washing machines that have the ENERGY STAR label, which means they use at least 25% less energy and 40% less water than the federal standard.

  • Dryers that have the ENERGY STAR label, which means they use at least 20% less energy than the federal standard.

  • Water heaters that have the ENERGY STAR label, which means they use at least 10% less energy than the federal standard. You can also choose a tankless water heater, which heats water only when you need it, instead of storing it in a tank.

To find out how much you can save by replacing your old appliances with energy-efficient ones, you can use this calculator: https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/estimating-appliance-and-home-electronic-energy-use


Weather Stripping and Sealing Air Leaks

Insulation works best when there are no gaps or cracks in your home’s envelope, which is the barrier between the inside and outside of your house. Air leaks can undermine the effectiveness of insulation by allowing warm air to escape in winter and cool air to enter in summer. This makes your heating and cooling systems work harder and use more energy.


To prevent air leaks, you need to weather strip and seal any openings or holes in your home’s envelope, such as:

Weather stripping is a material that creates a tight seal around windows and doors when they are closed. It can be made of metal, rubber, foam, or vinyl. You can apply weather stripping yourself by following these steps: https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/weatherize/air-sealing-your-home/weatherstripping


Sealing is a process of filling gaps or cracks with caulk or spray foam. Caulk is a flexible material that can be applied with a gun or a tube. Spray foam is an expanding material that can be sprayed into hard-to-reach areas. You can seal air leaks yourself by following these steps: https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/weatherize/air-sealing-your-home/detecting-air-leaks


Upgrading Windows and Doors

Windows and doors are another source of heat loss or gain in your home. They can account for up to 30% of your home’s heating and cooling costs. By upgrading your windows and doors to more energy-efficient models, you can improve your home’s insulation and reduce your energy bills.

Some features of energy-efficient windows and doors are:

  • Double or triple glazing, which means they have two or three layers of glass with air or gas between them. This creates an extra barrier against heat transfer.

  • Low-emissivity (low-E) coating, which is a thin layer of metal or plastic that reflects heat back into your home in winter and away from your home in summer.

  • Argon or krypton gas filling, which is a non-toxic gas that fills the space between the glass layers. This reduces heat conduction and improves sound insulation.

  • Warm edge spacers, which are materials that separate the glass layers and prevent heat loss through the edges.

  • Frames made of wood, vinyl, fiberglass, or composite materials. These materials are more durable and resistant to temperature changes than metal frames.

To find out how much you can save by replacing your old windows and doors with energy-efficient ones, you can use this calculator: https://www.energy.gov/eere/windows-doors-and-skylights/energy-performance-ratings-windows-doors-and-skylights


Conclusion

Insulation is a key component of improving your home’s energy efficiency, but it is not the only one. By installing energy-efficient appliances, weather stripping and sealing air leaks, and upgrading windows and doors, you can further enhance your home’s insulation and save more money on your energy bills. Not only that, but you will also make your home more comfortable, healthy, and environmentally friendly.

If you need help with any of these projects, you can contact a professional contractor who can advise you on the best options for your home and budget. You may also qualify for rebates or incentives from your utility company or local government for making these improvements.

Remember: insulation is only part of the process to save energy in a home. The more steps you take to improve your home’s energy performance, the more benefits you will enjoy.



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