Insulating for Comfort in Your Home
We all want a comfortable, cozy home. A comfortable home is one that consistently stays at a comfortable temperature throughout the day without any drafts. Many of us have experienced a room that’s too cold in the winter or too warm in the summer, and you avoid spending time in it. Insulating all exterior walls, floors, and ceilings would effectively give you more living space!
Insulation plays a major role in providing comfort, but it isn’t the only one. Some others are:
- Fixing all major air leaks, typically around windows and external doors
- Replacing old windows with ENERGY STAR®
- Making sure heating outlets and return grills for forced air systems aren’t blocked by furniture
- Making sure the system is well-balanced for forced air systems
- Installing external shading in the summer for south facing windows
Which renovation should you tackle first?
If you have to choose one home improvement project to increase the comfort in your home, where should you start? The answer is simple: upgrade the insulation!
The key to ensuring a comfortable, energy efficient home is a tight building envelope – a building that is properly insulated and air sealed – including exterior walls, ceiling/attic, foundation, roof, windows and doors. The comfort of your home can also be impacted by issues with sub-systems such as HVAC, plumbing, ventilation and electrical.
Understanding air leakage pathways
Air leakage occurs through a variety of areas in the home. Note that floors, walls and ceilings contribute 31% of the total air leakage in a home, whereas windows only account for 10%. In other words, insulating and air sealing are 3 times more important to making your home more comfortable and helping you save on energy than windows.
 Source: U.S. Department of Energy