Air Sealing: Air sealing is the “must do” intervention before you perform any other insulation measure. It improves comfort, preserves building durability and can even save energy. Air sealing consists of sealing up cracks and holes between the interior and exterior of your home, including those pesky drafts around doors that are often the source of discomfort. While it is fine to do this as a single measure item, we typically encourage homeowners to do it in conjunction with insulation. The reason for this is we oftentimes find that when done as a single measure, air sealing can disrupt existing insulation. Compromising one efficiency measure to obtain gains with another negatively impacts a home’s comfort and energy efficiency.
Attic Insulation: In most cases, attic insulation is seen as the most beneficial insulation measure to conserve energy in your home. This is because it is typically the largest area of heat loss. In most homes, the relative ease of access to attic spaces and the amount of space to blow insulation to a substantial depth yields higher energy savings than other insulation measures.
Air sealing, when done in conjunction with attic insulation, is important because it helps the insulation perform to manufacturer’s specifications, and it also reduces the movement of moisture from the living space to the attic. When manufacturers rate the “R-value” of insulation, they assume there is no air moving through it; therefore, if the attic is not air sealed, the insulation will not work to its proper specifications.
Crawlspace Insulation: Crawlspace insulation, also known as “underfloor insulation,” is insulation installed directly below the floor of your home. In most circumstances, this is done using a batt style insulation supported firmly against the bottom of the floor with wood lathe. We have not had great feedback regarding energy savings from this measure; however, we have been told by past clients that there is an enormous comfort improvement for cold feet on hard surfaced floors.
Air sealing in conjunction with crawlspace insulation is important because it reduces the amount of cold air and moisture migrating from the crawlspace to the living space. Crawlspaces have exposed soil and tend to be stagnant air spaces, so this measure can also improve the indoor air quality of the home.
Wall Insulation: Wall insulation is our favorite insulation measure! This is because we get the most positive feedback from wall insulation clients regarding whole house comfort changes. Not only does the home feel less drafty, but some clients have also reported that their homes are quieter once wall insulation has been installed.
Wall insulation is installed by taking off one row of siding and drilling one hole in each stud bay. We then insert a hose into the wall and blow in cellulose insulation so the wall is “dense packed” with insulation. We can also blow insulation in walls from indoors if the siding type prohibits exterior entry (examples of this type of siding: asbestos siding, brick, stucco).
Duct Sealing and Insulation: Duct sealing and duct insulation improve heat delivery to the home. The duct sealing reduces the amount of warm/cold (seasonally if using AC) air that leaks from the seams of the ductwork into the crawlspace or attic. Duct insulation keeps the ductwork warmer/colder so that the delivery temperature of the air coming from the furnace/heat pump/AC unit is consistent.
When duct sealing, we use a paste to cover all seams of the ductwork. Once the sealing is completed, we wrap the ducts in insulation and secure it with twine. The sealing is done in conjunction with a duct blaster test, which verifies that we reduced the leakage in the duct system. Read more here about duct blaster/blower door testing (please insert the link to that page)
DIY Insulation: Balanced Energy Solutions, LLC offers a Do-It-Yourself Insulation program to help homeowners who like to do work on their own. Balanced Energy Solutions staff will help you learn to install insulation, improve the energy efficiency of your home, and make your home more comfortable. Because homeowners provide the labor, DIY projects are cheaper, too!