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Proper insulation increases savings and comfort

3:19 PM, Feb 3, 2009   |    comments
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In most homes, one of the leading causes of wasted energy is inadequate insulation. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), heating and cooling costs account for 30 to 40 percent of the energy used in the average American home so having proper insulation can mean significant savings on these costs – around $100 per year. Insulation acts as a barrier between your home and the outside temperature to maintain a consistent inside temperature and help your home stay more comfortable throughout. In addition, the DOE asserts that walls, ceilings, and floors with proper insulation will be warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Plus, insulation can also help keep noise levels down providing a sound absorber or barrier.

Insulation is given what is called a recommended R-value. An R-value signifies the ability of a material to resist heat flow. The higher the R-value, the thicker the insulation and the greater the heat flow resistance will be. For example, it is more difficult for heat to pass through R-30 insulation than it is to pass through R-11 insulation.

Many homes in Florida are built with concrete block walls which are porous and not efficient insulators. While you may be familiar with ceiling or attic insulation, there are options to increase insulation for homes with concrete block walls. Injected foam wall insulation, for example, helps fill the spaces in these blocks, keeping your home insulated and energy bills low.

Typically homes older than 15 years old are less likely to have adequate insulation because after many years, insulation settles reducing its effectiveness. A free Home Energy Check from Progress Energy Florida is one way to determine if your home has proper wall and attic insulation.

As you can see, adding additional insulation is beneficial as it can deliver comfort and lower energy bills during the hottest and coldest times of the year. . And you may also be eligible for incentives from Progress Energy Florida if you’ve completed a Home Energy Check. Once a recommendation is made regarding an insulation upgrade, you’ll also receive a list of participating contractors to help with the installation. The level you choose will determine the available incentives from Progress Energy Florida. These may include:

  • Wall insulation incentive of 20 cents per square foot, up to a maximum of $300 per home.
  • If your ceiling insulation is less than R-12:
    • Progress Energy Florida pays $75 for upgrading to R-19, plus 5 cents per square foot
    • Progress Energy pays $100 if the final insulation level is equal to or greater than R-30, plus 7 cents per square foot above 1,500 square feet

· If your ceiling insulation is between R-12 and R-15:

o Progress Energy pays $75 if the final insulation level is equal to or greater than R-30, plus 7 cents per square footage above 1,500 square feet

To schedule a free Home Energy Check and get started on your insulation upgrade, call 1-800-700-8744 or visit www.savethewatts.com.

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