Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but we’re going to tell it to you straight: winter is coming. (Please don’t shoot the messenger.)
If you remember anything about our dreadfully long, ice-cold winter last year, you might already have a sinking feeling in your stomach knowing that September is nearly over. We certainly don’t blame you, but instead of letting it linger in the back of our minds, we’re using fall to prepare. Because the cold doesn’t have to have such a negative impact on how we live in the winter, at least when we’re at home.
What cold temperatures mean for your home
Cold weather can be an annoyance for more than one reason. Sure, it means having to throw an extra layer on when you go outside, or having to brush your car off and shovel before you can leave for work after a good snowfall, but it’s also a pain for even more significant reasons: it disrupts your comfort within the walls of your own home, and it likely weighs on your wallet.
Heating bills in winter can be astronomical compared to milder seasons like fall and spring, when opening and closing the windows is the only thing you have to do to moderate the indoor temperature. While you could put the kibosh on cranking up the heat in the house and advocate for slippers and blankets instead, we’d like to propose a longer-term solution that many homeowners often overlook: exterior foundation insulation.
Why exterior foundation insulation is a good idea
Your heating bills skyrocket during the winter because your HVAC system is attempting to regulate the temperature throughout the entire home. Meanwhile, drafts that lead to bitter cold walls and floors are combating the effort.
Exterior foundation insulation can put an end to that struggle, relieving your HVAC system from having to try so darn hard. This type of insulation is specifically applied to that unattractive concrete part of your home between the ground and the siding, where those pesky drafts likely originate.
Unfortunately, we’re privy to the fact that even in a cold-weather climate such as ours, homes more often than not lack insulation between the finished, occupied portion of the home and the ground. This leads to ice cold basements in the winter, and cold floors and walls above it. In neglecting to insulate that exterior foundation, we’re basically opening the door to invite the wintry drafts in.
Four reasons you’ll want to insulate your exterior foundation
Up to 50% of a home’s total heat loss can be attributed to an uninsulated, conditioned basement, even in an otherwise tightly-sealed, well-insulated home, according to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI). Even if you’re not looking to make your basement finished or livable, the cold down there is affecting the rest of your home.
To us, exterior foundation insulation is a no brainer, and that’s because once it’s installed, you’ll be reaping the benefits, including — but certainly not limited to — the following:
- Save energy. Exterior foundation insulation is a simple fix to significantly reduce heat loss through the concrete walls of your foundation. With less cold drafts, your HVAC system won’t have to work as hard, using less energy.
- Spend less. Reduce your energy use, and your bills will shrink with it. Nothing to complain about there.
- Get comfortable. Comfort in your home will no longer require flannel pants, fleece hoodies, four pairs of socks AND slippers, gloves, and earmuffs. By blocking drafts coming through the foundation walls, your walls and floors will naturally be warmer, making your whole house notably more comfortable to live in.
- Prevention. Insulating your foundation from the exterior will be a proactive step in preventing future moisture issues. Uninsulated foundation walls can cause condensation and other moisture issues, leaving the temperature of your home unbalanced and providing the perfect breeding ground for mold. (We covered this in relation to your crawlspace on the blog earlier this month.) Foundations get wet from all four sides, and unfortunately, interior insulation only has a limited drying potential once moisture is in. If you can solve these problems prior to ever encountering them, you’re in for less headaches down the road.
Stop the drafts, save the cash
It’s the perfect time to set yourself up for an energy-saving, comfortable winter that doesn’t weigh on the wallet. Want to learn more about how to get started with proper installation of insulation that works best for your home? Get in touch today. Once that cold comes, you’ll be glad you made the call!