M2=H2: I is for Insulation

Ah! You’ve just moved into your new house, and everything is perfect, just as you’d dreamed. Time to kick back and enjoy life in a new home – right? Well, yes and no. While your house is made to exacting specifications and the highest current standards, there may be ways you can improve, especially in the area of insulation. Whether it’s cold and you’re trying to improve your heating costs, or it’s hot and you’re trying to maximize your A.C., insulation is the key to efficiency and low heating/cooling bills. Read more to see how you can do even better in these areas.


Builders typically use insulation in the walls and attic. But other places, such as recessed lights on your top floor, the attic access door and the areas around windows and doors, will need maintenance to keep them well-sealed from the outside temperature.

RECESSED LIGHTS: If you have recessed lights in your upstairs rooms, they likely vent into the attic space. Check the light bulb housing to see if it is labeled “ICAT,” which is an acronym for “Insulation contact and air tight.” If so, no need to do anything. But if you don’t see that label, it’s probable that that light needs insulated. Simply buy an airtight baffle, remove the light bulb, insert the baffle into the housing and replace the bulb. Simple, yet effective fix!

ATTIC ACCESS DOOR: Even if your attic access door has insulation on top, it may need a little work to give a complete seal. You have two choices – first, you could use caulking to fill the opening between the door and the frame, or second you could apply weatherstripping around the edge of the opening. Just filling that little gap will eliminate any draft or breeze from the attic.

WINDOWS AND DOORS: Over time, you may start to notice a draft around once air-tight windows and doors. This is a signal that you may need to replace the caulking or weatherstripping. Begin by removing the old caulking or weather stripping. Most hardware stores sell a caulk remover which will help soften the old caulking. Next, use a utility knife to pry and lift the old caulk out. Then wash the area with warm, soapy water and let dry. For the next step, you will need a caulking gun. Cut off the tip of the caulking tube about 1/8” and insert the tube into the caulking gun. Moving the gun away from the caulking bead as you pull the trigger, slowly apply the caulk evenly to make a complete seal. Do not push the caulking gun forwards to apply, as it will smear the caulk. Finally, dip your finger in water and then gently run your finger along the line of caulk to push it into place. Remove caulk from your finger as necessary while doing this.

Are you enjoying our blog? If you missed some of the posts on homeowner tips, you can easily find them in the category, “Tips for the Homeowner” in the right-hand drop-down menu. Visit our website too at americanebuilder.com!


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