By Richard J. Roll
General Subject Information: Insulation is important for house comfort and decreased dependency on energy usage. In a new homes, insulation is required as part of the issuance of a building permit. Because government requirements deal with energy consumption, it is important to note that insulation is just one of the components of proper energy conservation. Other components include efficient furnaces, water heaters, window glazing, air conditioning and weatherstripping. For example, it is possible to have more insulation and a less efficient furnace as long as the energy value calculation of the entire house meets the requirements.
Insulation comes in two forms: (1) batts, which are often fiberglass, pink or yellow in color and 15 or 23 inches wide by 8 or 10 feet long, and (2) loose fill, which looks like packing material, and is generally blown through a large hose into the attic space.
Comments: Much of the comfort a house provides depends on the lifestyle of the occupants. For example, it is unrealistic to expect that an air conditioner turned on at 5 pm on a hot summer day can effectively and entirely cool the house by bedtime. Refer to Chapter Seven, “Cooling”.
Recommended Use and Maintenance:
- In wintertime furnaces should be programmed to come on in the morning at least 30 minutes before the time occupants wake. Constant adjustments to the thermostat will result in uneven temperatures and periods of discomfort.
- Installation of insulating drapes and shades is an important way to increase house comfort and decrease energy consumption.
- If you want to decrease energy consumption, adding insulation to the attic is the most effective way to achieve energy savings. If additional attic insulation is installed, care should be taken not to block the eave vents or allow the material to touch vents from gas fired appliances.
- When adding or replacing appliances, always install ones that have the Energy Star™ rating.
Richard J. Roll, American Homeowners Association (AHA) Founder and President, created the AHA in 1994 after speaking to thousands of homeowners and discovering that they were facing similar problems – high costs, no clout, little knowledge. The AHA helps homeowners and first-time homebuyers obtain the most value for their homes, build equity, avoid common pitfalls, and save $1000s on home improvements and home maintenance.
Now the world’s leading homeowner’s savings, benefits and advocacy membership group, since its inception, AHA has served over 1 million homeowners and first-time home buyers and helps them to capture the most value in their homes, and make wiser decisions regarding home buying, selling, financing, maintenance and home improvements.