Inadequate insulation and air leaks can inflate your household energy bills and erode your comfort. The following tips can help you perform checks on two key areas of your home to determine if you’d benefit from having a professional seal leaks and boost your insulation level.
Examine the Attic
In our area, the Department of Energy (DOE) advises insulating an attic floor up to R-60. A quick look around your attic can tell you whether there’s sufficient insulation installed:.
- If you can see the top of the floor joists in any areas, you should have more insulation installed.
- If the floor joists are completely covered by insulation, adding more probably won’t be necessary.
To find air leaks between the living areas and attic, turn on the lights in your home when it’s dark outside. Then, go up in the attic, close the hatch and look around the floor. Areas where you see light shining through from below are leaks that need sealing.
To improve your home’s energy efficiency, get all identified leaks sealed, have a vapor barrier installed on the attic floor, and top it with evenly-distributed loose-fill or batt insulation to cover the joists.
Check Exterior Walls
According to the DOE, your exterior walls should have R-15 of dense-packed insulation, and any cracks, gaps and holes in the exterior shell should be sealed up with expandable spray foam insulation or caulk.
Checking inside your exterior wall electrical outlets is an easy way to tell if the wall cavities are insulated:
- Turn off the circuit breaker that serves the outlets.
- Remove the covers and shine a flashlight into each outlet box.
- If there’s no visible insulation around the boxes, you need to add insulation.
To find air leaks in your home’s envelope, shut off your indoor lights at night, then move through the house and shine a flashlight over the exterior walls. Get someone to follow you outdoors to find any leaks where light shines through.
Contact us at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing for more expert advice about improving the insulation level and sealing leaks in your Indianapolis home.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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