With temperatures dropping, odds are your energy bills will be doing just the opposite. In fact, heating (and cooling) account for approximately 54 percent of the energy use in a typical U.S. home, according to the Department of Energy, representing the largest energy expense for most homeowners. One of the most effective ways to manage a home's climate, comfort and energy costs is by ensuring that it is properly insulated.
"Insufficient insulation, particularly in basements and attics, can allow heat to escape, resulting in higher energy bills and a less comfortable indoor environment," Don Kosanka, product program director for Owens Corning, said. "The great thing about insulation is that it is an investment that returns itself. It's something that homeowners can install themselves and it provides year-round benefits. Not only does insulation keep homes warmer in winter and cooler in summer, it delivers energy and cost savings all year long."
In fact, sealing and insulating - when done by a knowledgeable homeowner or skilled contractor - can help save up to $200 a year in heating and cooling costs, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In addition to cost savings, the experts at Owens Corning outline three other key benefits of insulating your home:
Energy efficiency: The primary purpose of insulation is to control heat flow in a home to save energy on heating and cooling. It's estimated that homeowners can typically save up to 20 percent of heating and cooling costs by air sealing the home and adding insulation. For optimal energy efficiency, a home should be insulated from the roof down to its foundation. Information about specific areas to insulate in a home is available at www.energy.gov and www.owenscorning.com.
Environmental impact: The energy saved by insulating a home also benefits the environment, but it is important to note that not all insulation products have equal environmental impacts.
Look for products made from recycled materials, such as Owens Corning's EcoTouch PINK Fiberglas Insulation with PureFiber Technology.
Enjoyment: Simply put, a well-insulated home is a more comfortable home. Insulation provides a protective barrier between the conditioned areas of a home and the outside elements helping to control moisture and temperature. Additionally, fiberglass insulation acts as a sound absorber.
An added incentive for homeowners to improve their home's insulation this year is the 2013 Federal Tax Credit for Consumer Energy Efficiency.
Those who install qualifying insulation products before Dec. 31, can receive a tax credit of 10 percent of the cost, up to $500.
- Courtesy of BPT