Protect that power bill with these insulation tips

Bret Reimann, Stone Passion

36202658_MHot weather? Cold weather? Either way, there are methods you can use to help save money and increase your home’s energy efficiency.

Did you know that heating and cooling makes up more than half of the energy use in a typical U.S. home? This means that for most home owners, heating and cooling counts as their largest energy expense each month.

The first step in mitigating a utility bill that’s as high as your ceiling is to ensure your home is properly insulated. If not properly insulated, your attic, basement or crawlspace is costing you money. Heat flows out through poorly insulated areas like water through a sieve, and really, nobody wants that, especially once those bills start hitting after a bout of extreme hot or cold weather.

Because heat rises, the first step is to check your attic. Look for reflective foil, foam insulation, or any sort of fiberglass plugs or aluminum flashing. Also, are there any gaps surrounding your furnace or water flues?

When checking the basement and crawlspace, you want to look at any areas where cement meets wood, or where the foundation meets the home itself. Any openings for electric, water or gas lines could also be trouble spots if not properly insulated.

There are a lot of products out there that go easy on your budget while insulating you from utility bill shock. If your heating bill is on the rise, it may be time to check your home’s insulation.