Your Home “Green”? Think Again!

leakyhouse.gifJust because you have a relatively new home, doesn’t mean you little piece of Boulder real estate heaven is as green as you might believe.

One of the commonly overlooked areas in home construction is not just insulation but air sealing.

During a recent meeting with Steve Byers from EnergyLogic, he discussed with me the problems associated with being too focused on only the insulation and ignoring the problem of air leakage.

Frequently in the attic space we hear about how much insulation we need and it’s definitely a good idea to make sure that you have adequate insulation. There’s no argument on that point.

xx-086.jpgThe problem is, even with lots of fiberglass insulation, if your home is still allowing air to pass between the walls between the climate controlled living space (the parts of the home we live in, like your bedroom) and the attic then you may be wasting dollars and compromising your comfort as well.

In some cases, you can pull back the insulation and actually see down into the wall space. Even if you can’t see easily, the air can pass through. Looking at the normally pink insulation, you can often see it’s turned very dark as it’s spent time working as a filter for all the dust and dirt carried through as the air passes.

xx-082.jpgLook closely at the photo to the left with the gloved hand holding insulation and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

This essentially translates into lost heating dollars and potentially lost comfort in your living space. (I’d assume you want that warm air inside).

What Byers and his staff at EnergyLogic recommend is taking the important step of sealing up the space prior to insulating or adding insulation. Instead of letting someone just having someone come to your house and blowing in a bunch of new insulation and leaving it at that, avoid the “blow and go” mentality and do it right to get maximum energy efficiency for your home.

xx-092.jpgBy properly blocking off air flow between the climate controlled space and the non-controlled space, like your attic, with proper sealing you’ll reap many benefits over simply adding more depth of the pink stuff.

Once you’re properly sealed up, then it’s time to get that R-value up and get to blowin’.

You can have your home checked to see how well it’s energy efficiency stands up with an Energy Audit or you could take it a step further and get an Energy Rating. If you think you’ve already done all the right stuff on your home, get it checked by a pro and learn the truth.

An energy audit is a great first step to really know how efficient and green your house is.


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