What You Need to Know About Insulation When Remodeling Around Austin TX
Did you know that 40-60% of your home’s energy bill is wasted? That’s right! The US Department of Energy reports that about half of a home’s energy is wasted when it is under-insulated and improperly air sealed. You can save $500 to $1,000 per year on energy bills by having your home properly insulated and air sealed.
How do you know if your home has enough insulation? Most homes 10-years or older do not have enough insulation according to the International Energy Conservation Codes (IECC). Your NARI Remodeler can help you understand what needs to be done to meet the building codes. Plus, your NARI contractor can advise you on what options to consider for properly insulating your home for energy savings, comfort, and health.
The bigger question, is your home effectively air sealed? There are several components to proper air sealing. The biggest and most important aspect is insulation. While there are many different types of insulation, only one product is an excellent air sealing solution: spray foam. It is the only type of insulation that stops all 3 types of heat transfer. Here you can take a deep dive into learning about spray foam insulation.
Can your house be air sealed even if your home has fiberglass, cellulose, or rock wool insulation? Yes. People are using cans of spray foam to seal the around common air leak areas like: electric outlets, windows, doors, HVAC ducts, framing connections, and plumbing entries. Then they fill the rest of the area with another insulation material like fiberglass. It works.
Which area of your house is most important to upgrade? The attic is where the majority of your energy is lost. In the Austin Texas area, your attic is where most of the heat comes into your home during the long hot summer months.
There are two different building science methods used in attic insulation: vented versus sealed building envelope. If you have a vented envelope with insulation laying on the attic floor, your attic will be 130-150-degrees in the summer. However, with a sealed envelope, your attic should be 3-5 degrees warmer than the conditioned living space in your home.
What is the cost difference between the methods? A vented attic seems cheaper when only considering the cost of blowing in fiberglass. However, when you add in the cost of attic fans and radiant barrier to get a lower attic temperature, then you will be much closer to the cost of a sealed attic.
How do you know if it worth creating a sealed attic? If you are simply fixing up the house to sell it in the next 2-years, go cheap. If you are going to be paying the utility bills, and will own the home for 3-years or more, invest in a sealed envelope. Your return on investment (ROI) over a 3 year period should be positive, and a 30 year ROI is tremendous.
When is the best time to have your home properly insulated? During remodeling the sheetrock is removed from your walls. That is the only time you can remove rodent infested, damaged, improperly installed insulation. Then your NARI remodeler can have an insulation professional install the proper insulation correctly.
What is biggest problem with remodeling when it comes to insulation? Many times the homeowner is focused on the remodel finishes. It is easy to overlook the core factors that will make your home:
- more comfortable to live in
- healthier for your family
- quieter from undesired noise
- and put more money in your bank account over time
Your remodeler’s job is to give you what you want, while complying with the building codes. Your remodeler is only required to address the insulation on walls, ceilings, and floors that are opened up. That means that if only half of your home’s walls have the sheetrock removed, then only half of your home’s insulation is fixed.
Plus, in most cases, the contractor is not required by the municipality to bring the attic insulation up to code. Remember, your attic is the most important place to upgrade. If you are building an addition, the new space will have the proper insulation. The existing structure will not be upgraded unless you require the upgrade and put it in the budget.
Here is what to do next: If you want to have a healthy indoor environment that is comfortable, and saves you money on utilities, then talk to your NARI remodeler about proper insulation.
Ask you contractor to:
- measure the R-value of your current insulation
- determine what you need to meet current IECC
- have your house properly air sealed
- explore the option of creating a sealed envelope
- have your entire house brought up to code on insulation
- at a minimum have the attic brought up to code
About the Author
Shawn Mansur is the founder of Stellrr Insulation in Austin TX. Shawn is famous for his 200% Money-Back Guarantee. He is laser-focused on delighting every client while helping them achieve stellar performance in their homes. Plus, with every purchase, Shawn gives 10% of the profits to the cause of the client’s choice. Learn more at https://www.stellrr.com or call 512-520-0044 today.