There’s one thing many Hawaii homes have in common: The insulation isn’t so great.
Unfortunately, poor home and attic insulation can skyrocket your energy costs and overwork your HVAC system.
By following a few strategies, you can keep your home comfortable and your bills as low as possible. Here’s how.
Why Should You Improve Your Home and Attic Insulation?
Proper home and attic insulation are important for a few reasons.
It Lowers Your Energy Bills
Insulation keeps chilly air inside and hot air outside. When your home is properly sealed, your air conditioner won’t have to run as often to keep the temperature down.
When your air conditioner isn’t running constantly, you’ll notice a huge dip in your electric bill. Hawaii residents pay some of the highest rates in the country for electricity: $168 per month on average.
Reduces Humidity and Mold Growth
Living in Hawaii, we’re no strangers to humidity. If your home faces the makai side of the island or is up in the mountains where it rains more often than not, humidity is inevitable.
Unfortunately, humidity also leads to mold and bacteria growth. Mold can wreak havoc on your home AND body. Anyone with allergies, asthma, chronic conditions, or compromised immune systems can’t afford to breathe mold spores.
Mold often starts growing in poorly insulated attics where you might not notice the problem until it’s out of control. That’s why attic insulation is so important.
Home and Attic Insulation Prevents Overworking Your HVAC System
During the summer, you probably run your air conditioner constantly for several months. Just like vehicles, air conditioners require regular maintenance and breaks.
Proper insulation keeps the air inside your home cool so your HVAC system doesn’t have to run constantly to keep the temperature down. Not only is this good for energy bills but it also prevents emergency repairs and breakdown from overuse.
7 Tips to Better Insulate Your Home
Luckily, you can take a few steps right now to insulate your home and reap the benefits.
1) Replace Your Windows
A lot of Hawaiian homes don’t have the best windows. While jalousie windows are nice for drawing in the cool trade winds, they’re also horrible in terms of insulation.
Thin or drafty windows mean warm air can make its way into your home. Moisture is also a big issue with drafty windows.
If you notice a room feels hotter near the windows, it’s probably worthwhile to consider replacing your windows with high-quality alternatives. If you have those signature Hawaii jalousie windows, it’s definitely time for an upgrade to save your HVAC system and energy bills.
2) Add Weather Stripping to Doors
Even when they’re closed, doors are major entry points the hot outside air uses to make its way into your home. Some high-quality weather stripping can help prevent moisture and hot air from seeping inside.
If there’s a larger than normal gap under your door, you could also use a double-draft stopper to seal up the issue. Don’t forget to add weather stripping to any sliding glass doors as well if you have them.
3) Repairing Leaky Ductwork
Ductwork can be fragile. It’s not immune to damage and breakage even though it’s in parts of the house you’ll never venture.
When your ductwork is leaky, your air conditioner must run harder to compensate for the warm air entering the system. Not only does leaky ductwork skyrocket your energy bills, but it also draws mold spores, dust, and allergens into your home’s precious air.
The EPA estimates the average American spends 90% of their time indoors where pollution is up to 5x higher than outside. Keeping your ductwork well insulated is crucial for protecting the air you breathe.
4) Schedule an HVAC Maintenance Visit
Just like cars, air conditioners need regular checkups, repairs, and maintenance services. A few faulty parts or leaks will stress your system and lead to a breakdown.
At Island Comfort, we offer a 32-Point Tune-Up to find potential problems before they happen, saving you money on emergency repairs. We also do a thorough cleaning to make sure your evaporator coils and other parts are humming along in good condition.
In some cases, you may assume your home is too warm from drafty windows and leaks when in reality your HVAC system simply isn’t functioning as it should. A 32-Point Tune-Up can figure it out and point you down the right path to take.
5) Make Good Use of Curtains
Part of insulating your home involves keeping out the sunlight as well as the air. While natural light is nice and important for health, it can also force your air conditioner to work harder.
Blackout curtains can help you “seal” your windows from the sun’s rays. Plus, thick curtains can also act as a barrier to prevent warm drafts from entering your house and raising the temperature.
6) Install Attic Insulation
Your roof and attic are the only things protecting your home from the sun’s hot rays. You notice this firsthand when you head up into the attic mid-afternoon in the summer.
Plus, hot air from inside your home rises and makes its way into your attic, putting unnecessary strain on your HVAC system.
Updating or adding attic insulation to your home will keep the temperature comfortable, prevent emergency repairs, and keep energy costs down. Don’t hesitate to contact our expert technicians at Island Comfort to see if insulation is the right choice for your home and how to get started.
7) Swap Out Your Screen for a Storm Door
While screen doors are nice at night for letting the trade winds flow through your home, they don’t do anything to protect your home from heat during the day.
On the mainland, people often swap out their screens for glass in the winter. In Hawaii, we can do the same in the sizzling summer months to help insulate our homes and keep energy costs as low as possible.
Let Us Help with Your Attic Insulation
Your attic is the protective barrier keeping the sun’s heat out of your home. High-quality attic insulation is vital for keeping your home comfortable and reducing humidity. Our insulation services can reduce stress on your HVAC unit and keep energy costs down.