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Stop Air Flow and High Energy Bills

December 16, 2011

After a long day at work, I’m ready to go home and relax. Our homes should be an oasis for all of us—where we can kick back and get comfortable.

But there’s no oasis of comfort when your home is too cold in winter. That means it’s leaking air—and wasting money.

One of the best things you can do if you have high electric bills is check the insulation. How much is in your attic and basement or crawl space? What kind is it? Is there an air barrier along with the insulation? The answers to these questions will determine how much energy and money you can save.

Air infiltration is one of the main problems for most homes. It’s healthy to have some air flow in and out of your home, but too much leads to discomfort and high electric bills. Properly installed insulation paired with an air barrier can do a lot to save.

If you have fiberglass insulation, whether blown or rolled batts, you'll need to create an air barrier by sealing all of the cracks and gaps between the living spaced and unfinished areas with caulk and expanding foam. Cellulose does a better job of blocking air, but only foam insulation offers its own air barrier.

Check out EnergySavers.gov to learn more about insulation. You can also contact your electric cooperative and talk to one of their energy advisers about whether your home needs more insulation. By doing so, you’ll be well on your way to a more comfortable home—and lower electric bills.

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