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Insulation and home heating

November 15, 2011


Homeowners may sometimes be concerned about the amount they spend on electricity and energy, and look for ways to minimize those expenses. Energy inefficiency can be costly over time, and flawed electrical, heating and air conditioning or other systems may be inconvenient as well.

In winter, for example, heat loss can mean extra layers or a higher heating bill. Taking care of such systems is important, but there is another factor that may be forgotten because it is not visible. Insulation traps warmth inside a home, and thin or lacking insulation can let heat escape, cooling it more rapidly than normal. Good insulation, and its effect on costs over time, may also be valuable selling points when it's time to move on.

Adding insulation

According to HouseLogic, homes may lack sufficient insulation for several reasons. It may have settled over time, and older homes may not have had enough in the first place. In such cases, heating and cooling costs are typically high, and the source notes improving wall insulation can save money over time. This takes a few years, but for a homeowner who intends to stay in place waiting may not be a problem.

While a household which moves frequently might not benefit as much, a more stationary family or individual can enjoy the impact on their comfort immediately and the financial benefits will come in time. The source notes adding wall insulation may be inconvenient in some homes, depending on construction. It can be easier to perform when siding is being replaced or as part of a larger remodeling effort.

Insulation comes in various types, some of which resist heat more effectively. Adding more insulation or replacing what is already present with a more effective alternative may each be beneficial, depending on the specifics of a home.

Attics and basements

The source notes adding attic insulation in such cases can make a significant difference, as can improvements focused on the basement. These areas are easy to overlook, because some people tend to spend little time in them, and can be major avenues of heat loss. As much as 30 percent of heat may be lost through basements, HouseLogic notes.

Depending on how extensive the work is, improving insulation may pay back an investment in as few as 3 or as many as 23 years, making it important for homeowners to weigh the benefits against how long they intend to stay in one place. For a couple planning to retire in their current location, a 23-year period of recouping on the investment may be worthwhile, particularly if they are more comfortable as that time passes. Home sellers might find it prohibitively expensive, however.
 

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