If you want to save money on your energy bill, adding insulation is the most time and cost-effective way to save money and make your home or workplace more energy efficient. Insulation and air sealing will pay for itself—and save you money, especially as utility rates go up.
The U.S. Department of Energy recommends R-Values for buildings based on climate, type of heating or cooling system, fuel cost, and the section of the house you plan to insulate. The recommended R-values for Colorado are: Attic R-49, Wall R-18, Floor R-25, Crawlspace R-19, and Basement R-11. The minimum building code is much less. If your home was built before 2006 it probably has half of the DOE insulation recommendations.
Another serious contributor to energy costs and inefficiencies is air leakage, or infiltration. When warm air is drawn out of your home in winter or into your home in summer, your heating or cooling system is forced to work harder to create comfortable temperatures.
You may not be aware of how much air leaks into or out of your home. In fact, there are enough air leaks in the typical U.S. home to equal leaving a window wide open for 24 hours a day. Incredibly, infiltration can account for 30% of a home’s heating and cooling costs.
Proper air sealing not only significantly reduces heating and cooling costs, it also improves building durability and creates a healthier, more comfortable indoor environment. Along with insulation, ventilation and moisture control,
air sealing is essential to creating an energy-efficient home.