Americans spend large chunks of their money on heating and cooling. A house that is properly and sufficiently insulated:
- Is more energy-efficient, and therefore, saves the homeowner money.
- Does not need extra effort and expense to keep it comfortable – insulation is permanent and usually does not require maintenance.
- Is more comfortable. Floors are warmer, and temperatures are more uniform throughout the house. Thermal insulation of buildings is merely one means of achieving indoor comfort and energy-efficiency. Weatherization and thermal mass are others.
- Absorbs outside noise and is quieter.
- Two indications that a house is poorly insulated and poorly ventilated:
- Dew and frost forms on cold surfaces in the attic, such as on the underside of the roof sheathing, during the winter.
- The attic is oppressively, almost unbearably hot in the summer.
- The phrase “thermal envelope” refers to the conditioned or living space in a house. Normally, people treat the attic and basement as unconditioned space, but you can make either the basement, or the attic, or both, part of the conditioned space, if you choose.