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September 9, 2019
Is your home an uncomfortable sweatbox in the afternoons? Had it up to here with the late summer weather in the Northern Virginia and DC area? Maybe you’ve already realized your home’s energy performance isn’t what it should be. But did you know that insulation is only one part of the fight against hot summer bedrooms?
Your best bet for summer home comfort is a one-two punch: insulation combined with air sealing. It’s the most effective way to control the temperature in your home, keeping the heat out and the cool air right where you want it: inside!
What’s the difference between insulation and air sealing?
It’s important to understand how insulation and air sealing work, so you can see how they combine to effectively combat the summer heat.
Insulation regulates heat flow into and out of a home, helping to keep hot summer temperatures outside. There are several different types of insulation, including cellulose, fiberglass batting, and spray foam insulation, each with its own benefits and unique strengths.
Air sealing works to minimize the movement of air between the outdoors and the inside of your home. Many homes have lots of small cracks and gaps—and when hot air is able to enter your home in the summer, like through the attic or exterior walls, not even proper insulation can prevent it from getting into your living areas. Common areas in your home that may have air leaks include:
Outlets and switches
Insulating and air sealing your home not only works to control your home’s temperature and keep your house cool when it’s hot outside, but can also drastically improve indoor air quality. Sealing and ventilating can decrease the pollutants that get inside your home and circulate, and can even reduce allergies and mitigate asthma.
What are the benefits of insulating and air sealing together?
Insulating your home without air sealing means you risk letting hot air air leak in, passing directly through insulation into your living areas. Air sealing will help stop hot air in its tracks, but without the right kind of insulating material, heat will continue to transfer through building materials (and even the insulation itself) to make its way inside.
Together, the two methods offer a comprehensive approach to maximizing your home’s energy performance. Aside from regulating temperature and keeping your home, especially the upstairs, cooler during the summer heat, you’ll see the benefits of insulation and air sealing in other areas as well, including:
Lower energy costs and HVAC use
Improved home performance and energy efficiency
Call Home Energy Medics to Get the Job Done Right
Understanding the specific areas where your home’s energy efficiency is coming up short is the most important first step towards a more comfortable summer indoors. At Home Energy Medics, our team of building science experts can conduct a thorough and detailed home energy audit to assess your house’s specific situation, including leakage inspections and infrared camera analysis, to recommend the best course of action for your home.