Insulation and Air Sealing
Carolina Green Energy Systems (http://www.carolinages.com/) is a full service weatherization performance contractor. We evaluate your home’s building envelope and all the systems that contribute to its overall energy efficiency. We will tell you what improvements will most cost-effectively improve your home’s air quality and lower your energy bills as well as help you get the work done. We look at a building as a single system. All the systems work together and addressing only one problem may or may not achieve the desired benefits. It’s sort of like putting a band aide on an eight inch surgical incision – it may help a little but without cleaning, stitches, and antibiotics, it addresses only a symptom and will unlikely solve the problem.
We are often asked why we recommend air sealing before adding insulation. Insulation without air sealing is sort of like the band aide. By itself, it achieves only a little. Imagine wearing a fleece jacket on a bright, cold winter day. Pound for pound, fleece is a great insulator and will keep you warm. Now imagine the wind starts blowing. The cold wind will blow right through your jacket. Add a windbreaker and you’re warm again.
Your home’s insulation is like the fleece jacket. It keeps hot air out in the summer and warm air in in the winter. But if the undesirable air is bypassing the insulation through air gaps – and your home could have hundreds of them – adding insulation will do part of the job. Without first air sealing, a home owner may be wasting money in the long run. Air sealing and bringing an attic to R-30 will cost about the same as bringing an attic to R-48 and not air sealing. The end result – lower monthly utility bills – may actually be better with the R-30 and air sealing. Only a performance contractor is qualified to make such a judgement.