The Best Way to Insulate a New Home Against Lincoln’s Wet, Winter Weather
The town of Lincoln has a long history in California, from what once used to be a Nisenan tribe village to the influx of gold rushers that came through seeking their fortunes. The town officially became established, though, when the railroad chugged in after Charles Lincoln Wilson sold tracts of land to new settlers.
A lot has changed in the town since those earlier days of its birth, but one thing that hasn’t is the wet winter weather. Winters have always been cold and wet around here, but this year’s rainfall is coming in unprecedented amounts, leaving residents waterlogged. While living in Lincoln has much to offer to residents as far as industry and recreation, one thing that homeowners have to keep in mind is the wet, cold winters giving way in the summer to sweltering heat.
Lincoln is currently booming with new housing, which is great for residents looking to buy a home. But, they should keep the extreme weather in mind when making a purchase to avoid exorbitant energy bills each season. If you’re building a home for the ground up, it’s an opportunity to make decisions about the right insulation for not only the shell of your home, but your HVAC and plumbing systems, making a huge difference in how comfortable and energy efficient your home will be for years to come.
Insulating Your Lincoln Home’s Envelope
Building a new home is similar to icing a cake—you decide how many layers to ice and what flavor of icing to use on each one. Insulation in a home is similar in that you can choose to add certain depths and types, depending on the space.
Lincoln is one of Northern California’s cities that has to defend against sweltering summer heat and winter’s biting chill, so insulation in your walls, ceilings, and even your basement or crawl space, are crucial to regulating the comfort levels inside your home. Some types of insulation to consider for your home are:
- Fiberglass batting: The biggest benefit of this common type of insulation is that it’s easy to install and is typically the least expensive. However, to properly provide an insular layer without leaks it might be wise to consult a professional. Fiberglass batting can come in a number of widths that provide varying degrees of insulative properties and can be installed in almost any area of the envelope, including walls, ceilings, and floors.
- Spray-in insulation: Spray-in insulation tends to be more expensive and a bit tricky to put in, but it can also be the most effective. When it’s sprayed onto a surface, it immediately begins to expand into any open areas, closing cracks and spaces that sheets of batting or even loose fill insulation might miss. This often makes it superior for applications such as attics or basements that are difficult to access. For a city like Lincoln that battles both extreme heat and cold seasons, this type of insulation is preferred for creating the best seal or envelope.
- Loose fill insulation: The big selling point for loose or blown-in insulation is that the small chunks of fibers more easily fill in gaps that batting. It’s also easy to install and easy to remove. This is a great choice for areas like attics where the key use is just to insulate the house. It’s cheaper than spray-in insulation and more effective than batting, so it’s a good choice for homeowners on a budget.
Insulating Your Lincoln Home’s Plumbing
If your home were a living breathing thing, the piping would be the veins and arteries of it. Water is sent all over your home through pipes, from bathrooms to kitchens to laundry rooms. The problem with plumbing in a climate that swings from extreme hot to extreme cold is that pipes and fixtures need to be well protected in order to avoid damage from the ever-changing states of water.
- Insulate piping: Most homeowners are already aware that insulating your piping is important to do during periods of freezing weather to avoid burst pipes. But it’s also necessary to insulate them for the summer months as well when pipes can sweat and cause mold issues. Not to mention that pipes without insulation will have more difficulty keeping water cool. When it’s almost 100 degrees outside, few things are more important than a cold glass of water.
- Insulate exposed fixtures: Pipes usually get all the attention when it comes to insulation but fixtures also need to be covered to avoid freezing, especially if they’re exposed to the elements. Plumbing fixtures like faucets and valves located on the exterior of your home or in unconditioned spaces like garages should be well insulated to withstand freezing temperatures.
HVAC Insulation for Your New Home
It’s often overlooked, but your HVAC system also needs to be protected from extreme temperatures. HVAC units and ductwork can sweat during Lincoln’s oppressive summer months, causing issues like mold and mildew growth. But they should also be insulated to withstand exposure to freezing temperatures as well. Consider the following tips for keeping your home comfortable regardless of the temperature outside:
- Ductwork insulation: Ductwork can experience sweating when humid air around it condenses on cold metal ducts. Over time this will comprise the ductwork, causing it to fail at joints and require replacement. Ductwork insulation is also critical so they can effectively carry cooled or heated air to the rooms of your home. If they’re exposed in unconditioned ceilings and walls, heat can either conduct through the metal or leach out of it, cooling the air down that is traveling through. With the demands on an HVAC system for heating and cooling in equal parts, insulating ductwork is essential for the proper operation of your entire system.
- Insulated indoor units: It’s also important to make sure your HVAC unit is insulated from extreme temperatures. Insulated doors and access panels protect the interior components of your unit from overheating during high temperatures and freezing during low ones. Make sure you specify this to the manufacturer because not all units come with insulated panels and doors.
- High-efficiency equipment: With the erratic weather here in Lincoln, having a high-efficiency HVAC system is essential to help keep those energy bills down. Systems in these climates have to work hard in both winter and summer months to cool and heat a home, so having a system that optimizes energy usage is essential to controlling your energy costs.
The reasons to buy a home in Lincoln are endless, from the beautiful historic architecture that reminds you of its rich past to the vibrant and bustling community that continues to forge into the future. Even the weather has the variety to suit anyone, no matter what their favorite season may be.
It’s a great time to buy or build a home here with the new land tracts that have been annexed by the city, so make sure to keep Lincoln’s shifting climate in mind when choosing how to insulate your home. Then you can enjoy everything this old railroad town has to offer, come rain or shine, without sweating your heating and cooling costs.
Buying a new home is an exciting time for you and your family. If you’re in the market for a new home and have questions about how to insulate it properly, call the experts at Bell Brothers, whether it be for your walls, HVAC system, or plumbing.