What is the best way to insulate your home?

What is the best way to insulate your home?

 

What do you do when your home is cold? Let me guess – you turn on the heater.

Although this sounds like the logical solution – heating up an entire building effectively can be both difficult and expensive.

It is also very wasteful, since an uninsulated home tends to lose about half of its heat. Not only is this a problem in winter, but in summer too – as your house tends to warm up more quickly when it’s hot outside, even though your A/C is set to a freezing temperature.

Thankfully, there are a few steps you can take to keep your home at the temperature you prefer, while also saving on your electricity bill.

The best way to insulate your home is to focus on the three things in your home that cause the most heat loss:

  • Doors

  • Windows

  • Floors

Doors

Ever notice how it’s colder next to your exterior door? This is an indicator that there are gaps on or around your door – especially at the very bottom of it.

If the gap is very not large, you can obtain bottom door seals that are very simple to install. Make sure you get them in the correct dimensions, and slide them at the bottom of your door. Then simply screw them in place, and you should notice a significant reduction in draft and heat loss.

If you have a bigger aperture – like interior doors tend to have – you might consider installing brush trims. You’d be surprised at the amount of heat they manage to keep in.

For the side of your doors, check whether you have any light coming in. If you do, you might want to consider weather stripping, which you stick along the entire edge of your door.

Windows

First off, you might want to consider investing in double-glazed windows to limit heat loss. These bring an array of extra benefits, such as sound insulation and improved safety.

Otherwise, you could consider rubber weather sealing. These don’t show much, and yet they close the gaps in windows. You can find this type of sealing easily, and they tend to come in strips which can be cut according to the dimensions of your windows.

Window insulation film is another cheap and effective option to insulate your windows. These come with a plastic shrink film that you can place around your window frame, then heat with a dryer to shrink it.

If you have any cracks around your windows, you can patch these up with normal putty or a sealer. You might not realise just how much heat is being lost due to even the smallest holes and cracks.

Floors

There are many ways to insulate your floors, and these depend on what your floors are made of.

If you have wooden floors, you should begin by filling gaps in floorboards with sealer. This might do the trick – but if not, there are a few more steps you could take to ensure your floor is thoroughly insulated.

If you have access to your floor from below, you can simply press the insulation against the floorboards from beneath. If not, you will need to go through the lengthy process of taking up your floorboards – something you might want to enlist the help of a professional for.

For a concrete floor, insulation could be placed either above or below the concrete slab. Insulation placed above would cause a room to heat up more quickly, but it would also cause the room to cool down quickly too. Insulation below the slab ensures that heat will be absorbed by the concrete, and both heat loss and overheating would be limited.

Carpeting your floors or investing in a thick area rug is a good way to provide insulation between you and your floors. A carpet or rug that covers all or most of your floor and has a high stitch count can go a long way in keeping your home warm – especially if it’s made of a highly insulating material such as wool.

Insulating a home just takes a bit of work

Whether you choose to fully insulate every nook and cranny of your home, or just fill in some gaps here and there – a little goes a long way.

Insulating a home is relatively inexpensive and often just takes a bit of work, which pays off by keeping you significantly warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. It is also energy efficient and reduces your carbon footprint significantly – something that both your energy bill and the earth will thank you for.

Steve Mercieca
Written By

Steve Mercieca