Investing in Insulation

Adding insulation into a home, garage, shed, barn, or other outbuilding is not a glamorous home improvement project, but if done properly will provide a positive return on your investment. Upgrading the quality or amount of insulation will reduce monthly heating and cooling costs resulting in overall savings and make any structure feel more comfortable.

Few homes and buildings are constructed with an appropriate amount of insulation necessary to maximize heating and cooling benefits. The amount of insulation needed depends on three primary factors, location, usage, and current heating/cooling expenses.

Location: Where your property is located will impact the amount of insulation you might need in your home or outbuildings. While many people think of insulation in terms of cold climates, it is important to remember that the proper insulation can keep the heat out in the summer as well as retain it during the winter, reducing cooling costs as well. Buildings located in temperate climates require less but often different types of insulation than those located in areas which experience extreme cold or heat.

Usage: How a building is used will also determine how much insulation is needed. A home that is heated and cooled will benefit from higher insulation protection than a barn used to store a camper. However, some outbuildings may require more insulation such as sheds used as workshops or to store items that can be damaged by extreme temperatures. While most buildings require some level of insulation, some will need more than others.

Current Expense: Most gas and electric companies can provide you with information about the average cost of heating or cooling homes of specific square-footage in your community. This data combined with your own budgetary goals can help you determine if you need more insulation and if so, how much makes financial sense.

To achieve a true return on your investment when increasing the levels of insulation, it is important to add only as much as is needed to achieve heating and cooling goals. Spending too much on additional insulation products can reduce the financial benefit you receive. There are many cost-efficient and effective products on the market including reflective insulation, foil insulation, radiant barriers. However, there are also some products that can cost as much as $250 per square foot and offers a level of insulation unnecessary for most buildings.

When considering options, the goal should be to maximize the level of insulation at a cost that will reduce monthly expenses and result in an overall savings.

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