Did you know that your heating and cooling system makes up for between about 50 and 70 percent of your energy bills? Imagine how much money you could save by making your HVAC system more efficient. The good new is, you can, with insulation!
Of course there’s the obvious steps, maintain your system twice yearly. Just like with oil changes in your car, your system has to be maintained in order to run efficiently and properly. Change your air filter every month. Your system can’t function properly if it can’t move air past your clogged air filter.
Next, make sure your home is completely sealed. This includes all doors, windows, your roof and anywhere else outside air may be able to enter your home. In some cases you’ll need to add weather stripping, in other cases you’ll need to apply expanding foam or caulk. Whatever the case may be, just make sure to seal it all. This is a huge step in the right direction on saving yourself money on your energy bills.
Last but not least, make sure your home is properly insulated. Of course it probably isn’t feasible to rip out your drywall and replace the insulation in your walls but there are some areas you can tackle. First, your attic. You can absolutely add more insulation there, unless you have a finished attic. You can use anywhere from R-38 to R-49. The colder your attic gets, the closer to R-49 you should add.
Next, your basement or crawl space. If you have a basement, you’ll probably find that there’s insulation on the ceiling. You may have insulation on the walls as well. Here, you should use anywhere between R-4 to R-19. If you have a crawl space, you should use between R-11 and R-25.
By completing the above steps, you’re essentially making your home air tight and draping blankets on it. Those things combined can make up for a great savings on your energy bills. Pair that with a new, high efficient system and your operating costs will be so low that the new car you want won’t be out of reach.
If you’d like to find out the recommended R value for your specific zip code, you can do so by visiting: www.eren.doe.gov.
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