Improve Your Home's Energy Efficiency for the Harsh Winter
Winter is coming! But that doesn’t mean you have to suffer through the cold, dampish, biting climate solely by burning your way through immense amounts of heating bills. Thermal regulation is the keyword here, and the proper implementation of it is what we’re going to be focusing on.
Whether your expenditure is electricity or natural gas-based, we know you don’t want the winter season to be a time of monetary setbacks, which is why you should focus on tackling the problem head-on! Every home needs proper insulation so that all the heat doesn’t end up escaping like a cat from its bag. In fact, you’ll find insulation to be a common element with a lot of these improvement suggestions.
Join us in our article on improving your home’s energy efficiency, and you’ll no longer have to worry about the dreaded frosty hard times.
Protection With Good Wall Insulation
New wall insulation is your first real answer to better thermal regulation. It’s the most natural way of regulating one’s household temperature without unnecessary expenses in terms of electricity and gas.
Cost-savings and efficiency go hand in hand, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that maintaining heat is more important than artificially creating it. This isn’t to imply that you won’t be needing any sort of heating appliances or large-scale setup, but rather that it will be easier for you to keep a balanced temperature without ‘really’ pushing your bills.
As for the best places to insulate – it’s worth keeping in mind that basements and attics can impact the overall temperature flow of the entire household, so they’re both excellent places to start with.
Prevent Air From Escaping
In correlation with the above point, your future self will also be highly thankful for ‘better’ insulative protection, like noncombustible and recycled fiberglass, for example – and lots of it in the right places. It’s not just because of the thermal upkeep but also because you’ll dodge the awful “stack effect” that can plague most homeowners’ living spaces.
You see, it’s not just the quality and the type of material that matter with insulation – it’s also how well it’s installed! Poor insulation and the odd missed nook here-and-there can lead to drafts. Sometimes, it’s not even the installation of the insulation that’s the main culprit, as unrelated gaps in doorways and windows can also play a part in the fiasco.
The aforementioned stack effect occurs when warmer air is “sucked out” in place of the colder outdoor air, which is why your abode may succumb to those chilly cold spots in certain rooms. Of course, this aspect brings us to our next point.
Put a Stop to Moisture
We know what you’re thinking – “insulation again, right?” You’d be correct, but there’s more to it than that. While we’ve already gone through the thermal benefits of insulating your walls, moisture can often pose a much more complex challenge that goes beyond insulation type. The inclusion (or lack of) storm windows can play a massive part in the whole thing.
Your windows and the draught-proofing equipment you have (or lack) can be determining factors in both air leakage and excessive build-up of moisture. While this seeps into our previous point regarding drafts, it bears repeating that a well-regulated household has zero airflows in the wrong places – and lots of ‘em in the right ones!
Aside from the types of adhesives, sealants, and old-fashioned brushes or wipers your windows may have, there’s also the addition of air conditioners and dehumidifiers. Both have an essential role in not just reducing moisture but reducing the frigid penetration that it can bring about through the butterfly effect.
Our final point concerns both insulation (yet again) and other elements of your household’s build, like the doors, the ceiling, and so forth. Everything within the context of construction has a designated R-value that basically tells you how well its thermal resistance is per area.
The “right” R-value is different for everyone, and the year-round temperature dynamic specific to your locale is the driving factor in determining ‘your’ optimal value. Usually, a higher R-value is better for climates that experience harsh, cold weather – granted, that oversimplifies it a bit.
One of the main reasons we include this as its own point is that R-values signify more than just your regular old wall insulation – but everything from the crawlspaces within your house to the carpeted floor. For the former, plastic covers are recommended, while the latter benefits from vapor barriers/plastic sheets.
We hope our readers found this article useful! Be sure to optimize your home’s thermal energy efficiency to stay as warm and comfy as possible!