As a first-time homeowner, there’s a lot to learn about your house. The little things you never thought about can become some of the most important factors in determining your comfort, the health of your home and its value. One of the most critical, yet commonly overlooked, elements is insulation.
Checking Your Current Insulation
One of the first things you’ll want to do as a new homeowner is check the state of your current insulation. In a recently constructed home, you can expect the insulation to be adequate, meeting current construction standards. In older homes, however, you may find minimal insulation.
If possible, you’re going to want to compare your current insulation, whatever its condition, against best practices for your area. You can check the International Energy Conservation Code, local or regional building codes and other agencies for minimum recommended R-values and heat resistance ratings for the insulation of walls, ceilings, floors, and other insulated spaces based on your local climate.
This can be somewhat difficult to assess on your own, so consider investing in an energy audit if your insulation isn’t brand-new; this will also identify other problems with roofing, walls, entryways, windows, etc.
What Are My Options?
If you determine that you need new insulation, you have two primary types to consider.
- Batted insulation made of fiberglass. It’s available in a huge variety of configurations and R-values, so it can match your needs. However, it comes in fixed sheet shapes, and can’t get into nooks and crannies effectively.
- Sprayed foam or blow-in blanket system (BIBS) insulation, which uses foam or wet sprays to fill in and/or coat the areas to be insulated with insulating material. This is great for treating difficult-to-reach areas, for insulating irregular surfaces and for partially sealing against water.
Where Should I Insulate?
There are a number of spaces where heat generally escapes or enters your home; these are known as thermal envelopes and should be sealed with insulation to prevent air from leaking. Key areas to target include:
- Exterior Entry Points (Doors and Windows)
- HVAC Ducts
Sufficient insulation can save you thousands of dollars over time, especially during the Las Vegas summer when you want to keep cool air in and hot air out. It also keeps your A/C unit from having to work as hard to cool your home, which saves you money on your energy bill. Contact us 702-262-7847 today for more information or to schedule an on-site inspection.