Given the geographical size of the United States there is a large variation in climate between the regions of the country. For instance cold, damp winter weather in New England is starkly different from the hot, dry weather in the Southwest. Similarly hot, humid days in the South can be much different from cool temperatures on the very same day in the Rocky Mountains. In all of these regions, whether hot or cold, wet or dry, maintaining comfortable living conditions within a home or other building depends on the proper insulation of the building.
Just as an individual building is made up of different parts such as floors, walls and windows, there are also different methods of insulating the building to maintain optimal inside temperatures.
- Walls - Usually the most thought about insulation in a home is within the external walls. When thinking about insulation, most people would think of the common pink fiberglass insulation that goes between the studs in a wall and helps prevent airflow and temperature transfer between the inside and outside of the home. A similar but slightly different solution is foam board insulation, which is placed under the siding on the outside of the home.
- Windows - Obviously, using foam board or fiber glass insulation is not an option in the location of windows and doors of a house. Technology continues to improve with the use of various invisible gasses placed between panes of glass and greatly increases its insulating ability. By replacing older traditional windows with these newer better insulating windows, homeowners are typically able to realize significant savings on their utility bills.
- Floors - In a less obvious way, the floor of a house is also susceptible to temperature transfer. Most homes are built with a crawl space underneath to access plumbing and ductwork. These crawl spaces are usually not insulated and are often open to external temperatures. For this reason, it becomes important to provide an insulating barrier within the floor system. Again this is typically fiberglass insulation placed between the floor joists.
Whether it is to keep the heat in on a cold, snowy night in Buffalo or keep the heat out on a hot, muggy day in Atlanta, the need to keep homes comfortable depends on the proper insulation of a home. In cases where the insulation or windows are not doing this well, the homeowner should consult an insulation professional, like those at R & K Windows, to find ways to improve it.