Home insulation in D.C.
The sub-zero winters and the scorching hot summers that characterize the climate of the nation’s capital require expertly installed insulation. This is crucial for maintaining a comfortable home with lower energy bills.
But in a city with more than 220 years of history, many homes were built long before insulation was common. Most homes could stand to take advantage of modern high-performance and sustainable products that are energy and environmentally efficient. The North American Insulation Manufacturers Association reports more than 65 percent of homes in the U.S. lack proper insulation.
Property owners who believe they have unusually high energy bills or feel drafts may want to request a home energy audit. That process helps provide an account of energy use and loss, allowing the property owner to determine the best course of action.
A variety of options, including batt insulation, blown in dry insulation or spray-on insulation, can help homeowners meet their insulation needs.
The NAIMA recommends insulating the following spaces in existing homes:
- Attics and ceilings: To achieve a recommended R-value (the measure of thermal resistance) of 38 or higher, two layers of insulation can be combined.
- Walls: The areas between living spaces and unheated garages often can benefit from insulation.
- Floors: Spaces that often are overlooked are those over unheated spaces like garages, porches and unheated basements.
With the current emphasis on green products and energy efficient living, insulation is eco-friendly both in its manufacture and in its reduction of pollution, according to the NAIMA. The Environmental Protection Agency reports that insulation saves 600 times more energy than other energy-saving features such as compact fluorescent lights, EnergyStar appliances and EnergyStar windows together.
The U.S. government also offers incentives to encourage the installation of insulation through a $500 tax credit.
Angie's List has over 400 insulation contractors in the D.C. area. Sign in to Angie's List to see who is highly rated. As always, get three estimates; check references, insurance and bonding, and licensure.