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Tip: Insulation Basics

Insulation basics: You’ll know when your insulation needs to be repaired or upgraded—you’ll feel cold air seeping in from seams around windows or doors, or a portion of wall or ceiling will be colder than other sections.

Insulation can settle in rafters or within the wall, or the amount of insulation installed in the first place might not be the most efficient for cold weather. An insulation professional can add new insulation to areas that need it, or place an entire new layer of insulation, either in sheets, rolls, or blown-in form.

Since insulation is packed between walls as well as in ceiling spaces, it’s helpful for your service professional to know what kind of access will be available prior to beginning the job. If the walls are intact, it will require additional cost and labor to get to the framing to install the insulation.

Knowing what kind of foundation is under your home can help a service professional better assess your insulation needs and costs. There are more insulating options available for a full basement (for instance; you can concentrate insulation at the upper half of the walls, where the heat loss is most apparent) than for a crawl space or slab on grade foundations (e.g. you have to insulate the ground or the surfaces that attach to the living quarters).

In general, spaces with attics have more insulating options than vaulted ceilings, flat roofs or homes with no attic at all.

Wrapping your water heater saves energy because you don’t lose as much of the concentrated heat the heater itself generates. Wrapping cold water pipes reduces condensation problems by keeping moisture from coming in contact with the pipes.

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