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Cheap ways to insulate your house

Home Exterior Tips · September 20, 2023


Insulating your home will help you save money, retain heat during the winter months, and protect your home from air and water infiltration. There are a lot of ways you can insulate your home. The options below start with cheap methods you can do yourself and end with projects you will need to hire a professional to properly handle.

1. Weatherstripping

Weatherstripping seals gaps or cracks around windows, doors, and walls. When weatherstripping is installed correctly, it can save you money on your heating and cooling bills. Not only will you save money, but you will also feel warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Weatherstripping is a very cheap method to install, and it does not require a professional to install anything. You can use weatherstripping tape and work on sealing gaps and cracks throughout your home. 


2. Door stopper

A door stopper seals the gap between the floor and your door. This gap is typically much larger than any weather stripping can resolve. Door stoppers will also keep insects and other small animals out of your home. Draft stoppers come in many shapes and sizes. You can install one that slides over the bottom of the door and prevents air and water on both sides of the door, or you can get a simple snake door stopper that lays on the interior floor against the door.


3. Cover the floor

Roughly 10% of heat loss is through the floor. Insulating the floor will help stop or slow heat from escaping. There are two types of floors that are vastly used. The first is solid flooring and the second is suspended flooring. Solid flooring is directly on the ground. Suspended flooring is raised off the ground. 

You can use batt insulation and spray foam insulation between the joists in suspended flooring. Batt insulation, also known as blanket insulation, is one of the most common and cheap ways of insulating walls, attics, basements, crawl spaces, and ceilings. It is typically made of fiberglass, cotton, or stone wool. When it is installed correctly, it blocks airflow and stops heat transfer.

The cheapest and easiest way to help when you have solid flooring is to install carpets or lay down rugs.


4. Blackout curtains

Windows, especially older windows, are one of the main culprits for energy loss in a home. About 30% of heat loss in a building is through the windows. Windows also cause heat buildup in a room through the summer months. Installing thick blackout curtains is a cheap and easy solution to insulate a room. Blackout curtains are also known as thermal drapes.

These curtains are made up of multiple layers of material that give the curtains thermal resistance. They can range from two to four layers. A common misconception is that these curtains are only available in black. This could not be farther from the truth. Blackout curtains come in a wide range of colors to fit any color or design scheme you want.

If the curtains are not properly installed, they will not work effectively. The space created between the window and the curtains is the one that reduces air infiltration and heat transfer. The tighter the air space is, the better the curtains will work at minimizing heat transfer.

Blackout curtains are useful in the summer as well. They will reduce the heat gain through the windows when the weather is warmer in the summer.


5. Plug your chimney when it is not in use

When there is an open chimney in a house, a home's heat consumption increases by 30% when the fireplace is left open. If your chimney is decorative or you do not use it frequently, you should consider blocking the chimney hole to prevent heat loss.

A chimney balloon is one of the ways you can block a chimney. The balloon is made from a special laminate material and is relatively cheap. The balloon goes inside the chimney and it is then inflated until it blocks the hole. This prevents heat from escaping up the chimney and cold air from coming down the chimney.

You can also install woolen insulators as "chimney sheep". An old pillow that is stuffed with cotton or insulation can work to plug the chimney. Make sure you remove anything that is installed in the chimney hole before starting any fires!


6. Reflect heat in your attic

Most of the heat loss in your home is through the attic. Insulating the attic with foam is a good way to prevent heat from escaping. However, the heat in the attic is not doing you any good.

You can install a reflective material like foil or a radiant barrier to reflect the heat. This is an easy yet time consuming process. Staple the foil sheets on the rafters. This will help reflect the heat down and lower your heating cost.


7. Close doors of unused rooms

An easy way to trap heat is to close the doors in your home. This will keep your house warm for a more extended period. It also lowers the heating cost because you home is easier to heat when the doors are closed. Shutting the doors of unused rooms also prevents cold air from moving around to the rest of the house.

8. Double glaze or shrink wrap your windows

Double glazing is one of the best options for insulating windows. It can be an expensive method which is why most homeowners do not double glaze their windows. 

A cheaper option is to install shrink wrap around all of your windows. Depending on how many windows you have, this process can be pretty time consuming, but it is a cheap alternative to double glazing that gives you similar results. You can find a multitude of options at your local or big box hardware stores.


9. Replace your siding

New siding will allow you to give your home a facelift while also adding a valuable insulating factor. There are different options you can choose from that best suits your style and budget.

Vinyl siding has two options. The first option is fan fold insulation installed directly on the sheathing. The second option is a foam backer vinyl siding. Either option will give you an added R-value between 2-4.

There is also a new house wrap on the market that protects your home from moisture issues and also adds an R-value of 3-4. This house wrap can be installed with any style of siding you want.

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Peguero is here to help

Some of the options discussed in the blog are easy cost-effective ways you can insulate your home. If there is a project that you do not feel comfortable with or need a professional to install, give us a call today to schedule your free no obligation estimate!

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Up Next


Home Exterior Tips · December 14, 2022

Why are my windows drafty?

Some homes in New England were built in the 17 and 1800s. We have come a long way since then. Originally windows were installed to prevent animals and water from coming into the home. There was no concern about efficiency to help reduce electric bills, keep the temperature of the house more regulated, preventing sun damage to furniture or carpets, and adding some curb appeal to your home.

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