How to Conserve Heat in Your Home With New Insulation
When I was just starting out in life as a young man (which, let’s be honest, seems like a long time ago these days), my monthly budget was always a problem. I don’t think I’m alone; it seems like a pretty standard part of being in your early 20s. I just never seemed to be able to get my budget to work. I had two problems: My paycheck was decent but not spectacular, and I also didn’t have the life experience to know how to stretch it.
Back then, I thought the only way to start having a healthy budget was for me to just make more money. Plain and simple. I didn’t realize that there were also ways for me to start conserving my funds better, too. I think there’s a valuable lesson to be learned from this in regards to how homeowners should approach the question of how to conserve heat in your home this fall and winter. Having a furnace that can generate the amount of heated air that you need is, of course, vital during the chilly Sacramento winter, but there’s also a component here that involves having the right insulation to make sure your home conserves your heated air by sealing it in.
Basically, you need to think of your heated air like I should have been thinking of my budget. So that’s what I want to talk about today: how to conserve heat in your home by upgrading and reinforcing your insulation. Let’s discuss why insulation is crucial for heat conservation, some places in your house where you may need more of it, and how you should go about making sure all your leaky spots are sealed. The end result will be a furnace that runs less—and saves you money on your monthly utility bills.
How to Conserve Heat in Your Home: The Importance of Insulation
When it comes to how to conserve heat in your home during the fall and winter, I think the single most important step that you can take is realizing the importance of insulation. Insulation is an absolutely vital ally in conserving heat in your home. Lots of folks think their only option is to just to run their furnace less while suffering through a colder than usual winter, but that simply isn’t true.
When it comes to how to conserve heat in your home during the fall and winter, I think the single most important step that you can take is realizing the importance of insulation.
You can run your furnace less and stay comfortable in a house that feels warmer. The key is making sure that you’ve done your due diligence when it comes to insulation. See, most houses have places where air passes through them to the outside, meaning your furnace has to run more to keep you warm. With the right insulation installed, you can plug these holes and keep that warmth inside, conserving it, running your furnace less, and ultimately paying a smaller heating bill when your utilities come due.
Where Insulation May Be Needed to Conserve Your Home’s Heat
The next step is to identify places where air may be leaking out of your home. Most HVAC furnace repair companies will be able to help you do this, so I highly suggest enlisting the assistance of a trained expert. If you’re the type who likes to get a head start on that kind of thing, though, I don’t blame you. I’m the same way.
With that in mind, let’s talk about some common places that the warm air generated by your furnace could be leaking through to the outside, so that you can get an idea of where it might be valuable to install more or better insulation to support your conservation efforts.
- The attic: I think the attic is far and away the most common place that homeowners need to bolster insulation. You probably don’t go up there much, aside from getting and putting away your Christmas decorations, but the simple truth is that heat rises. As a result, you’ll want to make sure there’s insulation on your attic floor, as well as in the hard to reach places like the corners and around the fixtures, tricky-to-reach spots where you may want to consider blown-in insulation.
- Additions or new rooms: Have you built on any new additions to your home as of late? If so, you might need to evaluate the insulation. A lot of construction in our area takes place in the spring or summer when the weather is nicer and dryer. As I result, I find that folks often forget to bolster the insulation in rooms like extra rec rooms or mother-in-law suites. You could be losing quite a bit of heat from your entire house through those walls.
- Windows: Did you know that windows have insulation too? Many homeowners only think of insulation in terms of their walls and maybe their ceilings, but just as much air could be passing through your windows. That’s why I suggest not only becoming well-versed in how double pane windows work, but in seriously considering investing in them, which ties into our next section.
The Best Way to Conserve Heat in Your Home Is to Take a Holistic Approach
I think the number one thing that I’d like to stress here today when it comes to how to conserve heat in your home during the fall and winter is that it’s important to use insulation improvements as part of an overall whole-home approach to energy efficiency. As I mentioned above, this includes shoring up your attic, windows, and even your vents. It’s a big investment, to be sure, but if done correctly it will pay for itself by saving you money on your monthly utility bills.
These programs will typically give you no interest loans for things like double pane windows, smart thermostats, and, of course, insulation, which you can then pay back over the course of years with the money you’re saving on your utility bills.
That brings me to another favorite topic of mine: California energy efficiency incentives. We’re lucky that in our area there are multiple programs that will help you pay for energy efficiency upgrades to your home. These programs will typically give you no interest loans for things like double pane windows, smart thermostats, and, of course, insulation, which you can then pay back over the course of years with the money you’re saving on your utility bills. The list of programs includes HERO, PACE, CaliforniaFIRST, SMUD, and Ygrene Energy Efficiency. The right HVAC and insulation contractor can guide you all the way through the process, no problem.
So, there you have it, the 411 on how to conserve heat in your home this fall and winter. Sacramento’s winter is coming (shoutout to Game of Thrones) and, as always, it’s going to be wet and cool. You’re going to have to run your furnace. That’s a fact. But, if you work with your friendly neighborhood HVAC contractor, you might be able to run it less than normal this year.
That’s where Bell Brothers come in. We have all the expertise and experience you’ll need to not only make the right recommendations about insulation for your home, but to also help you adopt a whole home approach to efficiency. On top of all that, we can also walk you through applying for and getting financing through our many California energy efficiency incentives. Give us a call today!
At Bell Brothers, we’re proponents of the whole home approach to health and efficiency, including finding ways to make your heating and insulation combo as energy efficient as possible. Contact us today to schedule a free in-home consultation.
Wondering how to finance a new furnace, or maybe even new windows and plumbing? HERO is a unique financing option that helps California homeowners afford energy efficient upgrades to their home. Contact Bell Brothers, a HERO-approved contractor, to learn more. Our local HVAC, plumbing, and window specialists will walk you through the entire process, from applications to installation.
Image courtesy CHOReograPH