Insulation: It’s not just for wintertime anymore

By Joel Wensley
Normally, you think I’d be doing a column on insulation in the winter time, but oh, contraire, Pierre. This week I want to talk about insulating your home to stay cooler in the summer and lowering your electric bills to save money all summer long.

Cellulose insulation is primarily recycled materials like newspaper and naturally produced fabrics, so it’s a very “green” type of home improvement material. It also offers a much higher rate of energy savings than the old traditional glass fiber insulation that comes in the rolls.

Insulating your attic and walls with blown cellulose will not only lower your heating bills in the winter but also your electric bills in the summer. If you think about it, the hot summer sun beats down upon your house and your attic, in some cases gets well over 130 degrees. All this heat radiates down into your home, which causes your air conditioner to work harder and harder.

Your attic is always going to be blazing hot, but by stopping the heat at the ceiling with the blown insulation, it will no longer be able to radiate inward and your air conditioner, whether it’s a window unit or central air, will not have to work as hard.

Adding more insulation to your attic to lower your energy costs actually only costs around $1,000 to $1,500 for an average size home, and you’ll see these savings reflected back with lower utility costs in a very short time.

As a side note, painting your home with lighter colors and using lighter color shingles can also help it to keep from absorbing the heat as easily and will save you even more money in the long run.

(Joel Wensley is a licensed mechanical contractor in the state of Michigan, a contributor on Fox 2 News on WJBK-TV Channel 2, and president of Mechanical Heating & Cooling in Dearborn Heights.)