There is a simple fix to decreasing your energy costs and increasing your comfort this winter: insulate your home to current industry standards.
New research estimates 90% of homes are under-insulated, according to a North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA).
Translation? Low, inconsistent temperatures inside lead to high, inconsistent energy use for homeowners.
“People don’t see insulation, so they don’t think about it,” Curt Rich, President and CEO of NAIMA, said in a news release. “They see windows and doors so they think about those items. The reality is that insulation has a three times greater impact on the average home’s energy and comfort than windows or doors do.”
The research confirms exactly what RetroFoam of Michigan has observed in homes.
“This is why we do what we do, because we know insulation can make a difference,” said Eric Garcia, General Manager at RetroFoam of Michigan.
He explained every day they notice rim joists, attics and exterior walls with little or no insulation at all.
“Many people complain about cold floors. If rim joists and crawl spaces are not insulated or under-insulated, your foundation and floor are going to be cold,” Garcia said. “Since air rises, it is a losing battle. Most ductwork also runs through your foundation, and if this area is already cold will make your whole house work harder to be warm and energy efficient.”
The nationwide impact of proper insulation upgrades would be staggering, according Dr. Jonathan Levy, Professor of Environmental Health at Boston University School of Public Health and lead researcher on the Boston University team that investigated the subject.
“If all U.S. homes were fitted with insulation based on the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), residential electricity use nationwide would drop by about 5 percent and natural gas use by more than 10 percent,” Levy said in the release.