Home Insulation Can Help the Planet
July 13, 2016
Homeowners in North America often wonder if their home insulation can contribute positively to solving global warming issues and climate changes. The short answer is yes - a well insulated home will definitely use less energy to keep everyone warm in winter, and cool in summer. And by using less energy as individuals, less carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas) will be released into the atmosphere because power stations will burn less fossil fuel to provide us with energy. In simple terms, global warming happens when huge volumes of greenhouse gases (one of which is carbon dioxide) accumulate in the atmosphere. This results in various natural consequences: air and ocean temperatures increase; sea levels rise; and weather conditions turn severe. Overall, these dynamics contribute to what is commonly known as "climate change". When homeowners improve insulation in their homes, it's a personal contribution to reducing global warming. Most residential homes in North America did not foresee climate change when they were built. This is particularly evident today, especially during extreme summer heat waves and extreme winter cold spells. And it's exactly why energy retrofitting has become so prevalent - it makes for better energy efficiency, noticeable dollar savings, and a positive contribution to the planet. For a typical homeowner, while reducing carbon dioxide is important, utility savings are the key. Reducing the negative effects of climate change is sometimes referred to as "adaptation". For the average homeowner, it's about doing whatever they can to minimize the negative effects. And for insulation professionals, it's about providing viable solutions - like air sealing, weatherizing, and insulation. Each of these solutions is designed to minimize overall energy consumption (summer and winter) and therefore contribute to the "big picture" of global warming and climate change. In particular, home insulation has a significant effect on creating energy efficiency in a home. A well insulated home will reduce heat loss, control moisture, and provide indoor seasonal comfort. And while different insulation products bring about different outcomes, the very best results are derived when a home is completely sealed, insulated, and ventilated. This would certainly include the more important parts of the house like the attic, roof, and basement - but the more the better. Beyond helping the planet, insulation is a home improvement that has a measurable return-on-investment for the homeowner. In fact, with a good contractor on hand, the initial project costs can easily be "paid down" by the substantial savings on heating and cooling throughout the year. In some respects, the idea of reducing carbon dioxide emissions and controlling climate change may seem daunting, but individually, homeowners can do their part, even if only by insulating. Today, many insulation products are considered eco-friendly - it's another aspect of the planet-friendly consciousness. For the "mindful" homeowner, this could well have a bearing on product choices, and on their personal effort to be part of the solution. Here, a good contractor can offer options that will satisfy energy efficiency issues, home comfort issues, and environmental issues.