It can be extremely costly to keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It can be even more costly to heat and cool your home if you live in an older home. Older homes often do not have the same level of insulation in them as newer homes.
Even if your older home was properly insulated when it was originally built, that insulation may have settled or deteriorated over time, thus decreasing the energy efficiency of your home. For that reason, retrofitting your older home can really help you save money on everyday heating and cooling costs.
#1 - Start With Your Attic
When it comes to adding insulation to your old home, one of the best places to start is your attic. Warm air tends to rise and leave out of your roof, costing you a good amount of heat in the winter. It is pretty easy to see if you have insulation in your attic -- all you have to do is literally go up into your attic or crawl space and look.
The type of insulation you should add to your attic depends on how your attic is set up and how you use it. If you use your attic as a living or storage area, you are going to want to add insulation between the rafters and attach it to your attic. Make sure, when adding insulation to your attic, that none of the roof vents are blocked; this can create moisture problems.
If you don't use your attic as a living or storage space, blown-in or batt insulation are two good ways to fill up your attic, increase the insulation, and decrease the heat loss.
Before adding insulation, make sure you update the electrical wiring if it is not up to code. You don't want to create a fire hazard with old wiring and new insulation.
#2 - Move to Your Outer Walls
After you add insulation to your attic, the next thing you'll want to do is add insulation to your outer walls.
If you live in a two-story house and you are on budget, start by adding insulation to the walls on your upper floors first, and then your lower floors. Generally, the best type of insulation is blown-in insulation, as only a small hole will need to be cut in each wall in order to add the insulation.
Once you have filled in the upper-story outer walls with insulation, move on down to the ground floor. Ideally, you should add insulation to all of the exterior walls in your home. This will help reduce the heat loss and gain through your outer walls.
#3 - Finish In Your Basement
Finally, you are going to want to finish in your basement. If your basement is unfinished, you can use batt insulation on the ceiling, walls, and even floors in your basement. If your basement is semi-finished, focus first on adding insulation to the ceiling, and then add insulation to the walls.
Work with certified insulation contractors to assess where you have insulation in your old home and where the insulation should be added. The more insulation you add to your home, the better.