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Add insulation to the summer solutions for keeping your home cool

Insulation is among the solutions to keeping your home cool


A well-insulated house does the same for your electric bill in summer as it does in winter – it can reduce your energy use. By getting the most out of the right appliances, you can drive down electricity use, but don’t underestimate the role that insulation plays in this equation.

The point of insulation is to keep air from penetrating your home through openings in its structure and foundation. In winter, it blocks hot air from escaping the dwelling and cold air from getting inside. In summer, the goal is to contain as much cool air as possible and not allow summer heat to penetrate the house enough to rob the air you cool with air conditioners and electric fans.

A look inside your attic, whether it’s a walk-up or crawl space, will show you how deep the insulation is and if it should be replenished. If there’s any indication that the insulation is damaged by mold, it should be replaced. The attic floor should also be sealed before insulation is applied.

There are contractors who specialize in this type of work and will do a better job of restoring insulation than homeowners can do themselves. Foam insulation sprayed on a dwelling’s interior frame, from attics to basements, is used more frequently and insulates better than traditional batting.

Closing the gaps
Homeowners who cool their homes with air conditioners can extend the cold air by adding electric fans, from window models to tower fans, to the process. Once the air conditioning supplies enough cool air to lower a home’s temperature to a comfortable level, it can be turned off while the fans continue to circulate the air.

But even this efficient use of appliances won’t mean much if the air leaks in a structure haven’t been plugged. By checking around doors, windows, utility connections and pipes at the point they enter the house, homeowners can make sure the cooled air they have indoors is not allowed to seep through crevices and foundation cracks.

Among the most common gaps are those at the bottom of doors and around window frames. By caulking windows and adding door sweeps to the bottom of your exterior doors, you’ll block the loss of cool air in summer and warm air in winter.

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