Home Insulation

There are several ways you can reduce energy bills by insulating your home and key areas that can be targeted effectively and often cost effectively.

Reducing your home's propensity to hemorrhage heat in winter or coolness in summer can be a game changer when it comes to balancing the household budget.

So which areas need shoring up most and how are the best ways to achieve it? This article looks at how you can maximize your air conditioning or interior cooling system's effectiveness and efficiency by employing the best insulating strategy you can afford.

Attic Insulation

Installing good quality insulation in the attic of your home can bring with it many great benefits. The two most important of those are the considerable cost savings in reduced energy consumption and the increased retention of heat in cold weather and cool in hot weather.

The obvious ecological benefits include reduced load on the usage of fossil fuels to produce energy and less pollution from a reduction in that process. There is also the peripheral benefit of adding considerable value to your home as a whole.

Let's look at these major benefits and see how they will, in many different ways affect you and your family living in the home.

The Cost Benefit

A major deciding factor for installing attic insulation in their home is the long term reduction of energy bills through reduced usage. Minimum insulation standard values (R values) will naturally differ from place to place, but regardless of what the recommendations may be it's always a very smart move to make sure you insulate to a higher rating than that minimum.

That way you can reap the greatest benefits in savings on energy usage over time. The long term cost savings will typically outweigh the installation costs inside of ten years and this can often be realized sooner depending on the amount of energy you household consumes for its heating and cooling.

Remember also that energy costs are almost guaranteed to increase over time. So the initial calculation of cost saving at today's prices will be far greater in several years time, which is why it makes sense to combine the energy-saving attributes of insulation with using economical evaporative cooling in summer where possible.

Energy Saving Benefits

In cool climates, the greatest amount of heat loss in a home is through the roof, so installing efficient attic systems with radiant insulation should be the first place you do it and where you can make major savings. The same goes for those hot summer months when a generous insulation barrier in your attic will help to keep the house several degrees cooler than an un-insulated home.

By retaining heat in cool weather and preventing overheating in hot weather, this type of insulation will greatly reduce the amount of energy, be it electricity, gas (butane/propane or natural gas), wood or oil that is used to produce the heat (or in the case of air conditioning, electricity to create cool air). This leads not just to lower energy bills but means you are using less of the resources that are produced or imported by your country for that purpose, which leads us onto the reduction in your ecological impact.

Ecological Saving

When you use less energy to heat or cool your home, you are doing your part in the grand scheme of the environmental balance of your country and the planet on which you live. We haven't yet got to the stage where we can draw all our energy needs from totally renewable sources.

In fact, today, less than one percent of all the energy used in the United States comes from renewable sources. In Europe, that figure is much higher, with between 10 and 20 percent of their energy produced from renewable sources.

This figure is even higher in some countries where almost 100 percent of electricity production comes from hydro-power plants. Even so, most of the world's electricity is produced using fossil fuel (coal, oil, natural gas) which is not renewable and as the world's supply dwindles, the price will go ever upwards.

Adding Value to Your Home

This is another aspect of having the best insulation you can afford to install. It actually adds value to your home. Should you decide that it has come time to sell, you will get a better price as well as better response from buyers who will prefer to buy a house that is already fully insulated rather than have to go through the process of doing it themselves.

Types of Loft Insulation

There are several types of radiant heat barrier attic insulation. These include laying fibreglass insulating material on the attic floor, fitting a radiant foil barrier beneath the roof tiles, using radiant barrier paints to insulate or a combination of types to maximise the R value of your loft space.

The best rule of thumb here is to go all out to include all the methods in combination and install as much insulating material as you can afford to.

Why Radiant Barrier Insulation is Good for Your Home

If you ever thought for a moment that your home was fully insulated and weather tight and you were perfectly satisfied with the way thongs were, then this is probably not for you. But if you feel cold in winter even with the heating system going at full blast, then maybe you need some radiant barrier insulation installed in your attic along with other measures designed to seal up your home so that it makes more efficient use of its heating a cooling systems when they are needed.

After all, more heat is lost through an attic that is not insulated in the cold weather than any other area of your home, so it makes good sense to plug that particular gap with some good insulation. Of course there are other areas you can also insulate your home, such as improving the windows with double glazed units as well as foam inner wall insulating material and using thick curtains and carpets.

The more you do to keep your home warm means the less your heating system has to do and the less it will cost to run it because it will use less energy to keep you warm in your home.

Insulating Paint

Insulating your home is a very wise move from both an environmental and economical viewpoint because it means your home will use less energy to heat it in the cold months or cool it during the hot months. This is a saving for the producers of that energy while that saving is passed onto you in the form of lower power bills.

Of the many ways in which you can insulate your home, one of the less well known is to make use of insulating paint as one of those options.

What is Insulating Paint?

Insulating paint is a specially engineered paint that contains insulating material that spreads out thinly as an integral part of the paint that you use to cover exterior walls, roofs and also interior walls and ceilings. The paints can come ready prepared or they can be bought as regular paint and have a powdered insulating additive mixed into them.

This can either be done at the paint store or by any handyman with a good power paint mixing attachment for a high speed electric drill, or a propriety paint mixing tool. When it is dry, it looks just like any ordinary paint, making it perfect for all household paint jobs where additional insulating properties are required.

How Does Insulating Paint Work?

It works in a similar way to any other radiant barrier by reflecting heat either back into the room it is being created in, as in the case of painted interior walls and ceilings and reducing heating bills. Another way it works is in repelling the heat from outside when painted onto exterior walls and roofs helping to keep the house several degrees cooler without using additional power for traditional or vent free air conditioning systems.

The technical explanation is that it uses tiny hollow ceramic spheres that each contains a vacuum enabling the finished and dried paint coat to effectively reflect heat waves in a similar was that a thermos flask prevents heat loss from within.

What Makes Insulating Paint Better than Other Forms of Insulation?

Insulating paint is not necessarily any better than other forms of insulation, such as radiant barrier attic insulation, or rockwool/fibreglass attic insulation, or cavity wall insulation etc. It is just another option available to the homeowner for reducing energy consumption.

It works on its own or can act as a further insulating medium to be used in conjunction with other methods, such as those just mentioned to increase the insulating R value of a house.

What Brand of Insulating Paint Do You Recommend?

There are several on the market, but the one we recommend is Insuladd ®. This company uses a ceramic paint additive pioneered by NASA for the Space Shuttle program and comes in ready mixed or additive form that you add to regular paint and mix yourself. It is also available as pre-mixed primers and roof coatings.

Insuladd ® ceramic insulating paint comprises unique energy saving properties that enable it to reflect heat. It provides a highly effective radiant barrier for your home. The hollow ceramic micro-spheres are designed to reflect heat waves from outside sources such as direct sunlight or internal heat sources such as a household heating system.

It therefore causes you to feel warmer in the colder winter months and cooler in the heat of the summer. Insuladd ® improves your home's insulation by creating a thermal barrier, which reflects and dissipates heat.

When it comes time for you to repaint the outside of your home, or the interior walls of the rooms inside your home, it makes sense to use insulating paint as the cost saving over the years will more than pay for the paint and you will benefit from lower energy utility bills. It's what is known as a win-win situation for all concerned!

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