When thinking about home upgrades, many homeowners consider two projects: insulation or windows. There are many conflicting messages about which is the best investment. Before you get out your wallet, read the following so you can make the best choice for your home.
One factor in saving energy is sealing the building shell — the outermost part of your home including walls, roofline and attic. Sealing the building shell will keep conditioned air inside your home. It will keep energy costs in line and make your home more comfortable. Windows comprise a small portion of the shell of your home and won’t provide the same energy benefits as air sealing and insulating.
Another factor in saving energy and considering insulation versus windows is your home’s natural airflow. Air inside a home naturally flows from ground to sky. Your home loses 70% of its energy through the attic and roof which is far more than is lost through windows or doors.
A final factor in saving energy is R-value. R-value is a measure of the amount of heat flow a product resists. The higher the R-value, the better it reduces heat transfer. The R-value of windows can vary from about 1.5 to 2 based on the number of panes, air space between panes, etc. Upgrading attic insulation to current code results in an R-38. Add this R-value with the prior data about heat flow in a home and it’s easy to see why a fresh blanket of insulation is a great investment.
When looking at the bottom line, the choice is clear. According to Home Advisor, the average cost to upgrade windows in our area is $5,372. The same report shows the average cost to upgrade fiberglass insulation in our area (before air sealing) is $1,511.
Ready to add attic insulation? Contact us to schedule your free estimate.