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Published On: Sun, May 27th, 2018

Residential Insulation: The First Step to Going Green

Those who decide to make their homes more eco-friendly have many options available, from investing in energy-efficient appliances or learning how to make the most of the existing ones, sealing air leaks and always remembering to turn off the light when leaving a room or replacing traditional light bulbs with light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to using eco-friendly cleaning products that do not contain harsh chemicals harmful for the environment, installing a programmable thermostat, reducing water use, exploiting solar energy and insulating their home. The truth is that many homeowners resort to some of these methods not just because they want to minimize their negative impact on the environment, but also to reduce the strain on their household budget. In fact, many people do not realize that giving up on certain bad habits is more than enough to cut expenses. These habits refer to keeping the water on when brushing your teeth, blindly purchasing light bulbs that consume more energy and keeping appliances that are not in use plugged in.

photo/ StockSnap

Insulation – the perfect solution for a greener home

According to the old saying, bad habits are hard to break so until you start acknowledging and fixing your mistakes, we have the perfect solution that will help you take the first step to going green, namely insulation. This move does not only drive great energy efficiency, but it also comes with major other benefits including a healthier home environment, reduced noise pollution, increased comfort and probably the most obvious of all, lower energy costs, which sometimes is more than enough for some homeowners to say “yes” to insulation. Who would not want to live in a healthy, clean and visually pleasant home, especially taking into account the fact that so many toxic chemicals affect the well-being of children and elders who have a weaker immune system? Mold represents the most common problems faced by homeowners and besides leading to allergies and asthma, pulmonary hemorrhage and infection, it also damages the structure of the property, not to mention the unpleasant view and the bad smell. Fortunately, insulation helps to manage moisture and prevent the growth of mold and even though it cannot fight all the dangers alone, it does contribute to wellness.

The perquisites of insulating your home

Homeowners living in a loud neighborhood can benefit the most from the sound absorption qualities of insulation. Whether the noise comes from outside or within, the reality is that it can significantly increase stress levels. From neighbors, traffic and sirens to music or children, if you need at least an hour in the afternoon or in the evening to rest or recover your strength after a tiring day at work, then the most efficient option to control noise pollution is resorting to insulation. Urban locations are quite noisy and you cannot fight fire with fire by putting on your headphones and increasing the volume because it will only make matters worse. You have the right to feel safe and comfortable in your own home so when the noise becomes too much too bear you have to take immediate action. Apart from reducing noise pollution, properly insulating your home helps both the furnace and the air conditioner to maintain a constant and consistent temperature. The last compelling reason for which more people should direct their attention towards insulation refers to saving money.

Become familiar with the basics of insulation

Cooling and heating a house involves great amounts of energy thus increasing expenses, not to mention that it puts a strain on the heater and air conditioner. Choosing the right type of insulation is necessary in order to put an end to these problems and implicitly, the financial stress causing you headaches. Do you want a cozy interior space warm in the winter and cool in the summer? Are you ready to embrace a greener lifestyle? If the answer is “yes”, then you should start becoming familiar with the basics of home insulation. What area of the house do you plan to insulate? Well, before making such an important decision, you have to identify the main area of the house that allows heat loss. We are going to facilitate your situation and inform you that, according to specialists, the walls represent the culprit you are looking for, followed by the roof, windows and doors and lastly, the floor. This should help you set your priorities straight.

Determine the necessary type of insulation for each area

Do you know what insulators look like? This is also important because you have to choose products of superior quality to make sure that you obtain the much-desired effect. Shortly, insulators are made of various materials including wool, cotton and wood or you can opt for spray foam solutions. After understanding the composition of insulators, at least the basic materials, you can move on to different types of insulation available on the market. Practically, the next mission is to answer the question: what goes where? Starting with wall insulation, making a choice is not very difficult because it mostly depends on the type of wall you have. More specifically, cavity wall insulation works for walls that have a gap, which you can fill with the chosen material so it is not the most suitable option for solid walls. In what concerns the roof, you can opt for a warm loft or cold loft. In the first case, you insulate under the roof and you invest more cash. In the second case, you insulate above the ceiling of the top story or floor.

In order to insulate your doors and windows, you first have to make sure that they are double or even triple glazed meaning that the panels of glass have space between them allowing you to spray the foam and provide you protection against the outer noise and keep you warm during the holidays. Finally, yet importantly, you have to be aware that floor insulation is probably the most expensive of all. If you decide to overlook this option, then we have a great alternative for you – the good old rug.

Author: Cynthia Madison

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- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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