Smart moves for a warmer home

Add insulation to exterior walls

Uninsulated or underinsulated exterior walls, including walls between finished interiors and unfinished areas like garages, are a major source of heat loss in winter and heat exposure in summer.

An uninsulated wall’s R-value is just 5, while a well-insulated one can have a 22 R-value.

But you can solve this problem without ripping off the drywall and creating a huge mess.

Your first option is to add insulation from the exterior at the same time that you redo your home’s siding.

You can also add insulation from the inside.

In a wood-framed house, the basic process is to open the wall cavity by using a stud finder, then cut small holes between the studs through which insulation can be blown, says Gary Wagner, CEO of Green Distribution, a sustainable building products distributor in Boca Raton, Fla.

You’ll need to rent an insulation blower machine to fill the wall cavities. Then you have to reseal the holes that you cut into the walls.

It’s a patching job, not a wholesale demolition and reconstruction of your walls.