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A house without insulation in a Nebraska winter is like a person without a winter coat. A lot of heat is lost and it's terribly uncomfortable.
Older houses in Omaha (particularly those built before the 1970s) are likely to have little or no insulation in the walls. Wall insulation is an important part of a comfortable house that is affordable to keep warm.
How Do You Know if You Don't Have Enough Wall Insulation?
In the winter, the walls are cold to touch, you have cold floors, uneven heating levels throughout the house, and high heating bills. You could also have mold growing on the walls.
In the summer, the air inside the house is uncomfortably hot, your air conditioner can't keep up with the heat, and you have high cooling costs. You could also have mold growing in the basement.
Does this sound familiar?
If so, American Energy Advisors can carry out an energy audit for you anywhere in the Omaha area, complete with infrared imaging. This is the best way to determine how much insulation is in your walls, where the problem areas are, and how much of what types of insulation you should add to the walls, depending on your situation.
Rebate and financing packages often require an energy audit as part of their registration program.'
Wall Insulation Types
There are a few common wall insulation types. Fibrous insulation, either in batt or blown forms, is most common in the wall cavities of houses built or renovated since the 1970s. Spray foam is used in newer homes or in fairly recent renovation and retrofit projects.
If you're looking to improve your wall insulation without changing the siding or opening up the walls, blown in insulation is a great option. Dense pack cellulose insulation puts a good coat between you and the exterior, and can slow down air leakage as well.
If you're changing the siding on your house, a great way to improve your wall insulation and minimize air leakage at the same time is to add a layer of insulation board on top of the sheathing before the new siding goes on.
If you're building new or doing a major structural renovation and opening up walls, spray foam insulation could be an ideal choice for your project.
Wall Insulation & Thermal Resistance (R-Value)
When you build a new home or addition, a combination of cavity insulation and board insulation (also called insulative sheathing) gives you a very good R-value. Sealing the board insulation at the joints and edges will help reduce exterior wall leaks. Cavity insulation is usually R-15 in a 2x4 wall or R-21 in a 2x6 wall.
In general, the more wall insulation you can add to an existing house, the better. But it's important to also consider the best ways to minimize air leakage, otherwise your insulation will not perform very well.
American Energy Advisors experts in energy efficiency can help determine what level of wall insulation is best for you, taking into consideration your home design, your budget and your long-term plans for the house.