What Other Places Can You Seal and Insulate?
If you’ve read the Texas Electricity Ratings Blog for any length of time, you know we encourage you to make your home as energy efficient as possible. This makes your dollar go even further with your cheap electric plan. Of course, you have insulated exterior walls, and hopefully, you have thick windows with sealed edges. But which other places to seal and insulate does your home have?
Seal and Insulate Attic Knee Walls
Over the past 30 years, home builders have sought to wring out every square foot a home floor plan can offer. In many two story homes, some upper floor rooms have shorter walls. These knee walls are usually five feet tall. They’re especially common in bonus rooms built in attics and above garages.
The ceiling follows the roofline until it is five feet above the floor. Then, the wall comes straight down. The cut off piece makes a triangular prism with the three sides being the roofline, knee wall, and second floor. Ideally, the roof has a radiant barrier and the floor has R-30 or better insulation.
Depending on the age of the house, builders may have under-insulated the house or not insulated it at all. So, it’s not surprising if builders sometimes neglect to insulate the knee wall. The least invasive way to tell if your knee wall has insulation is to take off a section of baseboard and cut a small hole to inspect the wall cavity. If it doesn’t, you must make a decision. Do you leave it alone, or do you undertake a large project? Only you can decide if it will be worth the energy savings on your future Texas electricity bills.
Attic Access Door
It can be fun to flip down your attic access door. When it works properly, the fold-down ladder rests on the floor squarely, and you can climb right up. When you pull the string on the access door, you may see a reflective silver insulation cover. If not, you’re leaking conditioned air into your attic. You can find these reflective attic door insulation covers online for $30 to $50. They’ll pay for themselves in a matter of months with your lower electric bill.
Seal and Insulated Recessed Lighting
Much like with the attic access door, conditioned air can escape your home through gaps around recessed lighting fixtures. But there’s a simple fix for this: install recessed lighting covers. You can hire an electrician to do it, or you can do it yourself. Big box hardware stores sell fire rated recessed light covers. Make sure you grab a tube of firestop sealant as well. Once you’re in the attic, clear the insulation away from the light fixture. Cut a small slit in the light cover to run the wire through. Then place the cover over the light and apply the sealant.
Find Even More Savings
Have you found enough places to seal and insulate? To be sure, there’s more! These home upgrades are good on their own, but they’re even better with a great power plan. Shop for your home’s electric plan at https://www.texaselectricityratings.com, and you’ll rack up the savings even faster.