One certain way to lower heating and cooling cost
is to add more insulation to a home. I doubled my home insulation
from a measly R11 to an acceptable R24 for the walls and it made
a huge difference. The comfort level in the house was dramatically
improved but I wish I had added more to R30. We burn wood as our
primary heat source and more insulation means less wood cutting.
||The easiest place to add insulation and the
place where it makes the biggest difference is the attic or
I once lived in a house where there were no insulation
in the floor, all the windows were single paned and barely 3 inches
of insulation in the walls but the attic crawl space had close to
three feet of blown in cellulose insulation and the house stayed
surprisingly warm heated with a medium sized wood burning stove
in below zero weather.
|There is almost no such thing as too much insulation,
more is better.
Glass has poor insulating values and the biggest
heat loss and gain in a home is through windows. If the sizes of
all the windows of an average home were added up it would represent
an area the size of an exterior wall or close to it. Obviously sitting
next to a wall comprised of single pane window glass would not be
comfortable at zero degrees. Double paned window glass can double
the insulating value of a single paned window and increase the level
of comfort significantly by stabilizing the rate of heat exchange
|Putting up sheathing or covering around the
crawl space of a home and insulating it is another good idea
to improve heat retention by helping the warmth from the house
from dissipating too quickly to the outside.
There are special plastic backed insulation 6"
thick and 3 feet wide with a staple tab on one edge that comes in
a continuous length to your specification for this purpose. I used
it to insulate our crawl space to eliminate freezing pipe worries
and doing so extended the length of time the house stays warm after
we let the fire die.
| Home insulation recommendations
for locations around the country by zipcode. US Department of
Energy website: Insulation
Fact Sheet |
GSHP or ground source heat pumps can significantly
reduce the home electric or gas heating bill but again performance
depends on how well the house is insulated to begin with.
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