June 17, 2012

Winter's coming. It's already heating season. So how do you save money on heating costs? You've got to own your heat. Simple as that. You've paid for all that warm air already, so it doesn't make much sense to waste it now.

A simple enough premise - it's the application that gets complicated. We (and most building science experts) strongly recommend air sealing and insulation as high priority measures to make your home use less energy, make you more comfortable, and make the planet happy.

Air sealing can sometimes be done by a competent do-it-yourself-er, but insulation is trickier. It generally has to be done by a contractor, and for the most part can only be installed by getting inside walls that are now closed up. And unlike air sealing flaws, which you can often see just by scanning your basement walls, the quality of insulation in your house is, for the most part, difficult to assess. (Thankfully, the attic, which is the most critical spot for insulation, is the easiest to access).

This is an important point, because even if all insulation is created equal (a separate discussion), that doesn't necessarily mean that all insulation is equally well installed - which, in this case, may be just as important. Insulation only works when it's installed to specifications, and when it's in good shape. So even if there is insulation in your walls, even if you've seen it or paid for it or been told by your real estate agent that it's there, it may be sleeping on the job.

The best way to assess the quality of otherwise "invisible" insulation is a home energy audit from a qualified home energy auditor with an infrared scanner, which will reveal where there are problems with your insulation.

Another reason why a home energy audit is really a problem-solving exercise. After you have it done, you'll know where the issues are. Without it, your home might just remain an unsolved mystery... The Case of the Cold House and the Disappearing Dollars.

  • Leslie DiMaggio, Fox River Grove, IL

    I want to tell you that we are COMPLETELY satisfied with the work you guys did at the house... The house definitely feels cooler. We know you guys made an extra effort with us and also gave us a great price. We love you guys!!!!!!!! I have already recommended you to three people. Thanks!

  • Nina Brakel, Park Ridge, IL

    We LOVE the new windows. I can't believe what a difference it has made in the house - it is soooooo peaceful upstairs now. And, the outside of the house looks new! Thank you! And, you were great to work with - thank you. Gregg and I both commented on your professionalism and knowledge.

  • Toby Trabert, Oak Park, IL

    I own a Victorian style home that desperately needed insulation. I hired Energy360 Solutions and they discovered major air leakage through the many nooks and crannies of my attic.

  • Scott Gillis, Woodridge, IL

    My home was uncomfortable. It was so difficult to keep it warm in the winter and there was no sound barrier. We could hear everything that was going on outside. We needed insulation and called Energy360 Solutions. They provided us with a great solution using dense packed Cellulose insulation.

  • The Holzl Family, Mt Prospect, IL

    After 14 years of living in our house, and suffering each winter in our chilly family room built over a crawlspace, we hired Energy360 Solutions to perform an energy audit of our entire house. One of their findings was that we were losing heat out of the wall joists of the crawlspace.

  • Ken & Julie Kittredge, Mt Prospect, IL

    Our first ever energy audit from Energy360 solutions was a very exciting and interactive experience. We learned so much about the energy efficiencies of our home or better said the lack of efficiencies.

  • Mark Hoffmeister, Mt Prospect, IL

    Our home was sealed and insulated in March 2014. The results were immediate. The house air conditioning was improved especially in the upper floors. This cold winter comfort improvement in heating the house was successful.