Insulating your basement can cut down on the heating and cooling costs that cause your utility bill to spike in extreme temperatures. The U.S. Department of Energy says that heating and cooling account for 46 percent of the average homeowner’s electric bill, which equals about $2,200 annually. Here are multiple basement insulation methods you can use to protect against energy loss through walls and windows.
Install Spray Foam or Foam Board
Wood framing and fiberglass insulation should not be built directly against a concrete foundation wall because of the potential for moisture buildup. Insulation that can handle the ebb and flow of dampness in concrete is a better investment for homeowners, since the risk of mold growth and wood rot is eliminated.
Spray foam is the most expensive basement wall insulation option, but it is also the most thorough. It covers all wires, pipes and crevices, removing all air leaks and guarding against water vapor buildup.
Foam board also protects against moisture and boasts a high R-value, the measurement of thermal resistance. The joints where each board section meet can be sealed with tape or spray foam to minimize heat transfer.
Interior Window Insulation
To decrease the amount of energy lost through draft-prone basement windows, homeowners can replace weather stripping around each. Chip away old, dry caulk and clean each window edge of crumbling debris. Put new weather stripping in place and re-caulk the perimeter of each window. Consider replacing older, single-paned basement windows with double-pane, energy-efficient glass. Temporary window film can also be applied on a seasonal basis to help increase heat transfer through the glass.
Window Well Covers Prevent Air Leaks
Sealing each basement window well will prevent unnecessary air leaks and energy loss. Purchase a custom-fitted window well cover designed to fit each window. Window well covers composed of clear polycarbonate material will allow sunlight in, facilitating a natural heat source for the basement in colder weather while still protecting against drafts. Larger windows have an increased surface area and more potential for heat loss, so window well covers are especially helpful for finished basements with taller windows. As a cost-effective product with many additional benefits, including increased home security, window well covers are a smart purchase with a considerable return on investment.
Benefits of Insulating Your Basement
In addition to trimming monthly utility costs, insulating your basement can provide additional living space for household members year-round. Completely finishing a basement results in a 72.8 percent return on investment, according to the latest Cost vs. Value Report by Remodeling magazine, upping the overall value and marketability of your home.
Contact Windowell Expressions for additional advice on how window well covers can help when insulating your basement against cold winter drafts and summer heat waves.