Insulation can be added to many places in your home to help save energy. Here are four places you can focus on to make your home more energy efficient.
The best way to make your windows more energy efficient is to replace them. New energy efficient windows will reduce the amount of heat that can pass through, which will keep your house warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
Replacing windows can be expensive and is not always an option. Another good energy saving option is to remove the trim and add insulation around the window frame.
Use a spray foam insulation to fill the gap between the window frame and the studs. Be sure to use minimal expansion foam insulation so that the window frame does not get damaged when the insulation expands.
Adding plastic to the window in the winter months will save energy also. Double pane windows work by trapping air that resists the transfer of heat. By adding plastic you are affectively turning your windows into energy efficient double pane windows.
Insulate Water Heater
Water heaters come with insulation built in. However, you can add more insulation to raise their energy efficiency.
When the water inside your water heater reaches the desired temperature it stops using energy. The faster the water temperature drops, the more often your water heater will turn on, which uses up energy.
By adding insulation the water inside will cool down more slowly and save energy.
You can buy insulation blankets and wraps for water heaters also. I would suggest using a R-value of 8 at a minimum.
Insulate Hot Water Pipes
When hot water leaves the water heater it has to travel through a maze of pipes to reach your faucet.
By adding insulation to the hot water pipes you will keep the pipes warm and be able to turn the heat down on your water heater.
There are many different types of pipe insulation available. Many will have tape that closes the seam to trap heat in.
Pipe insulation is relatively cheap and is easy to install. Be sure to get the proper diameter insulation for the diameter of your hot water pipes.
Insulate Air Ducts
Air ducts in your home allow heat to transfer to the air inside which makes the air colder in the winter and warmer in the summer.
Adding insulation to air conditioning and heating ducts is a great way to improve energy efficiency. Vents that run through an unconditioned space like an attic, garage, or unfinished basement will benefit the most from the added insulation. The insulation will not only save energy, but will also reduce vibrations and make the air vents more quiet.