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Home Energy Improvement that Fits a Small Budget

Jul 11, 2008
As energy prices rise, transportation isn't the only thing that becomes more expensive for members of society. Keeping your home cool or warm can also cost a pretty penny. As a result, homeowners are starting to make several different home improvements to increase their home's energy efficiency. These home improvements can include anything from installing new windows and heaters to automatic thermostats or more insulation.

Of all these changes, the one that will make the most difference for the lowest cost is probably insulation. Insulation is a great way to improve your home's ability to trap either heat or cool air. Consequently, whether you live in Canada or California insulation can make a huge difference in your utility bills. Unfortunately, most building codes only require a minimal amount of insulation which makes it easy for the air inside your home to exit through the roof, intersection points, and your walls. That's why almost every home could improve its energy efficiency with more insulation.

Ideally, you would speak with your contractor before your house is built about adding extra insulation. After all, it is much easier to install insulation before sheetrock goes up than it is to add it afterwards. However, thanks to the different kinds of insulation on the market, retrofitting your walls isn't as hard as most home owners believe. For example, a loose fill that can be sprayed into the walls through a small hole is easy to install and easy to clean up. With a little patch and paint, your walls will look as good as new and their will be better insulation throughout your home.

When you shop for insulation, look for a product that has a high R-value. The higher the R-value, the better it will be at insulating your home. You also have to pay attention to its size. For example, if your walls are only four inches thick, don't buy a roll of insulation that is five or six inches thick because compressing insulation will decrease its R-value. And finally, make sure you are buying a safe product that is easy to handle. Many kinds of insulation are easy to self-install, but a few products require professional skill.

If you have a larger budget, buying new windows or replacing the furnace and air conditioner are also good ways to improve a home's energy efficiency, but the most affordable place to start is definitely the insulation.
About the Author
For more information on California insulation and energy-saving tips visit Future Energy Corporation (http://energysavers.com/). They sell top quality products and provide a lot of free advice on ways to improve your home's energy efficiency. The author, Art Gib, is a freelance writer.
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