Q:

What are some tips for insulating homes?

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Quick Answer

Good tips for insulating homes include taking advantage of state tax rebates and credits offered by the U.S. Department of Energy and performing a home energy audit or hiring a professional to discover air leaks and parts of the house requiring better insulation. Homeowners should also study Energy Star's suggested insulation levels based on particular climates and home areas.

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Full Answer

A home energy audit generally includes a blower door test requiring the use of a high-powered fan to reduce indoor air pressure and reveal air leaks. It also involves an evaluation of the present insulation's R-value, which is the measurement of the insulation's ability to resist heat and cold.

Based on the results of the home energy audit, homeowners should insulate all areas that lack or have insufficient insulation. Contractors often recommend starting from the attic by insulating the top of the floor or beneath the roof deck.

Next, contractors may drill 3-inch holes in the internal and external walls, insert cellulose and cover the openings. They also usually insulate the rim joist surrounding the house and areas connecting wood and concrete. It's also a good idea to seal gaps in room additions. Additionally, homeowners may caulk and weather strip areas surrounding windows and doors, install storm windows, install programmable thermostats, or plug light holes and plumbing gaps on their own to improve insulation in their homes.

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