Insulation: What to Prioritize in Hot Climates

by Joel Scheller 11/14/2021

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Choosing the right insulation is crucial to the energy efficiency and comfort of your home. There are different types of insulation best for particular climates and particular areas of the home that are more important than others. If you live in a hot desert climate and are looking to lower your energy bills and keep your house cooler, there are specific areas to focus on.


A properly insulated attic is the best place to start in cooling down your home. Being at the top of the house it’s the first space to get hit by the sun’s powerful UV rays. If it absorbs too much heat into the attic, you’ll have the equivalent of an oven cooking away your utility bills and fighting back against your air conditioning system. Insulate the underside of the roof first to combat this. There are lots of different insulation types you can use here including spray foam, rock wool, fiberglass or radiant barriers. Next you can focus on the floor of the attic to strengthen the barrier between the heat and the rest of your home. Spray foam, fiberglass and blow-in cellulose insulation are good options.

No matter what type of insulation you choose, remember to use the proper equipment and wear protective gear. Insulation projects can be completely DIY, but if you’re uncertain of what to do, hire a professional. You should notice a difference on your energy bills and the overall comfort level of your home once your attic is better insulated.

Weather Stripping

Replacing your weather stripping around doors and windows will be the other biggest improvement in your home’s insulation. Most of the cool air leaked out of your home is through door and window seals. If the weather stripping is old or poorly installed, tiny gaps will allow air flow back and forth through the barrier, also allowing transfer of heat. The best part of this is that unlike replacing your entire window, weather stripping is very inexpensive and can be done on your own. There are a variety of different methods in a range of price points and difficulty including foam tape, felt and good old-fashioned caulk. For insulating your doors, you’ll need a specific type of weather stripping called a sweep. Installing new sweeps is another project you can easily DIY after a trip to your local home store.

If you want to make a big difference without an enormous up-front cost, these are the best bang for your buck. While modern double-paned windows definitely have their advantages, replacing your windows can be an expensive project to undertake. It also involves a lot of careful research and vetting to make sure you’re getting the best performing windows you can find. The exterior walls of your home are important, but it is also very expensive and difficult to replace or add wall insulation. Both tasks are significantly harder to do on your own unless you have a lot of prior experience.

Overall, any insulation you improve in your home will eventually save you money and energy. For the quickest ROI on the smallest budget, consider the attic and weather stripping first.

About the Author

Joel Scheller

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