Winterize Your Home
Don't lose energy and money this winter. The best way to reduce the cost of heating your home is to make sure your home is efficiently insulated.
How to Winterize a House
- Test for drafts – we have a handy thermal imaging camera that can help!
- Seal any air leaks with extra insulation, caulk, or weather-stripping.
- Get your heating system checked, replace furnace filters and flush your water heater.
- Use window insulation – about 30 percent of your home’s heat escapes through the cracks around your windows or doors.
- Reverse the direction of your ceiling fan to spread out the warm air pooled near the ceiling.
- Drain hoses and pipes, and turn off water spigots that won’t be used during the winter. Consider pipe insulation.
- Insulate! Make sure all walls, attic floors and basement ceilings are well covered.
Why Insulate Your Home?
Adding extra insulation to your home is one of the best ways to save money and energy, while keeping your house warm and cozy. Heat always flows to cooler areas, so during the winter, the heat in your living spaces seeps into unheated attics, garages, basements and outdoors. Even an insulated home can lose a quarter of its heat through the roof.
Wall, floor, attic, crawlspace and basement insulation offer the best opportunities to improve your home's energy efficiency. Attic insulation, in particular, keeps heat from rising out of your home and prevents ice dams on the roof and in gutters. Plus, installing loose insulation is easy with our insulation blower.
Sometimes adding to insulation isn't possible. In older homes, insulation can wear and decay over time. Water damage, mold and pests can also destroy insulation. If you need to start from scratch, our insulation vacuum removes the bad insulation, so you can start fresh.
How to Insulate Your Home
Talk to your builder or conduct a home energy audit to find out how much insulation exists in your home – locate where in your home currently is or isn’t insulated. Determine what type of insulation it is, and the insulation R-value (or the thickness). The higher the R-value, the more effective your insulation will be. For southern Wisconsin, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends the following R-values:
- Attic: R49 to R60
- Cathedral ceiling: R30 to R60
- Cavity: R13 to R21
- Insulation Sheathing: R5 to R6
- Floor: R25 to R30
For do-it-yourself installation, be sure to check local building and fire codes, take the necessary safety precautions and adhere to the manufacturer’s directions. Then follow these steps:
- Choose the type of insulation to use – likely loose fit, blown in insulation or batt and roll, blanket insulation.
- Determine your target R-value.
- Measure the space and estimate how much insulation you’ll need.
- Get rid of any compressed, water-stained or moldy insulation.
- Check for financial incentives – some states offer rebates and tax credits for improving your home’s energy efficiency.
- Assess and seal moisture or air leaks.
- Create a barrier around light fixtures and vents – contact may be a fire hazard.
- Maintain airflow.
- Insulate from the perimeter toward the door.
- Shower afterwards to remove any lingering fibers.
Tools and Equipment for This Project
- Insulation Vacuum: removes 4,350 cubic feet of cellulose insulation or 5,850 cubic feet of fiberglass insulation per hour, and comes with 150 feet of suction hose as well as a hose that discharges insulation into the dumpster
- Insulation Universal Blower: blows 540 pounds of cellulose insulation or 187 pounds of fiberglass insulation per hour
- Thermal Imaging Camera: find air leaks or poor-insulated areas in your house with this 2.3 megapixel digital camera that displays temperatures ranging from -4 to 248 degrees Fahrenheit