Proper insulation can help reduce energy bill costs

Proper insulation can help reduce energy bill costs

Submitted by Mark Schirmer of Advanced Insulation & Energy Technologies

Most homeowners rarely go into their attics, and are not aware they are losing dollars through the roof due to lack of adequate insulation or voids created when service people need to remove insulation to do work but don’t replace it.

It’s estimated at least 50 percent of homes have insulation problems. The rule of thumb is to have a minimum of at least 1 foot of insulation under your roof. If you can see the ceiling rafters, you are under insulated.

Recommended R-values – the measurement used to determine insulation effectiveness – have increased dramatically since most homes were built. Even if you’ve added insulation within the past several years, you could likely save money by adding more due to the recent increase of energy costs.

A mini-energy audit will determine if your attic insulation is adequate or if you need to insulate around the perimeter of your basement – the band board or foundation area – where most of the outside air infiltrates our homes.

You can insulate pipes on your hot water heater and install a water heater blanket. Your water heater uses almost 20 percent of the energy in your home, and a lot of that is lost through the sides and pipes running to your faucets.

Some of the biggest energy hogs are leaky cold air returns on our furnaces. Your HVAC system needs to pull air from the upstairs or furthest distance from the furnace into the cold air return so that conditioned air – heated or cooled – can be sent out to fill the room. If air is being drawn in from the basement due to leaky, cold air ducts, it can dramatically affect the efficiency of your HVAC system. Sealing the cold air returns can save as much as 20 percent on your energy bills.

Can you see your air filter? Is the filter sticking out of the slot or the cover missing? This is a huge energy loss because it is right next to the fan that pulls air into the furnace. Special magnetic covers are available that fit most filters. They will make your furnace work much more efficiently. This can save you about $300 per year.

It only takes a few minutes to find out if you can save money on your energy bill. Air infiltration sealing and insulation work the same during the winter and summer to save you money.

Advanced Insulation & Energy Technologies is a family-owned and operated company that is licensed, registered and bonded with the city of Cincinnati; knowledgeable about current building codes; and trained in proper installation techniques. Advanced Insulation & Energy Technologies earned the Angie’s List Super Service Award for 2010.

As of June 22, 2011, this service provider was highly rated on Angie’s List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie’s List.

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