Homeowners in Tampa often spend a significant amount of money keeping their home comfortable in the hottest months of the year, which leaves many wondering whether improving insulation and sealing to keep the outdoors out and the indoors in might be a worthwhile investment.
Today, we’ll look at what home sealing and insulation might be expected to do for your home, in terms of immediate savings on your energy bills and heating and cooling bills specifically, and in terms of less obvious benefits that can save you money over time.
What Do We Mean By Home Sealing and Insulation?
When discussing cost-effective home sealing and insulation to control energy costs, it’s usually best to focus on the biggest sources of infiltration rather than trying to seal and insulate every square foot of your home.
- You want to reduce air leaks throughout your property with a special focus on common problem areas like the attic, around windows, above unfinished basements or crawl spaces and around your foundation.
- You also want to insulate, targeting these areas to further improve R-values (the measurement for how well a structure like a wall or roof and its insulation resists heat flow).
You can go above and beyond these targeted improvements, and you might have specific areas that warrant more attention unique to your home, but we’ll look at these standard improvements first.
Savings Estimates and Confounding Factors
The EPA publishes a wide selection of statistics and suggestions for improving the energy efficiency of homes and businesses, including estimates on the savings seen by standard home sealing and insulation on a regional basis.
Tampa is in Climate Zone 2, the hottest climate outside of the tropical regions of the country like Miami, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, etc.
For Tampa, the whole-energy use savings for the targeted upgrades we mentioned before come to about 6% annually, or 9% of your heating and cooling annually.
This is a significant improvement, but it might not be as impressive as you expected. It’s worth noting that the improvements these studies focus on are more accurately tailored to control the energy costs of colder states with different heating and cooling needs than Tampa residents experience.
If your home currently has bad insulation, rather than merely suboptimal insulation, you’ll see significantly bigger improvements from air sealing and insulation. A single drafty window or uninsulated portion of your attic could be costing you substantial amounts of money every month.
Less Obvious Savings Due to Sealing and Insulation
Of course, the EPA numbers are also tailored to a specific measurement of savings: Energy costs. It’s worth noting that you might see other savings from a well-insulated and air-sealed property that aren’t directly reflected in your cooling or heating costs.
Air infiltration, heat infiltration, moisture infiltration, and noise infiltration are all reduced by these measures, which can affect any number of factors.
These various forms of infiltration through a poorly sealed home can cause mold growth, water damage, increased wear and tear on electronics and delicate equipment, allergies, poor sleep, and a host of other problems — all with their own list of associated costs.
You’ll also see less tangible but very real costs, like lower quality of life with a poorly sealed and poorly insulated property.
If you’d like to learn more about the immediate and long-term benefits of insulating and air-sealing your Tampa property, the experts at Installed Building Products of Tampa would be glad to help you understand your options for improvements.
Call 813-280-5007 or contact us online today.