I guess that I am still surprised at the number of homes built without reasonable insulation. To me, it is the gift that keeps on giving. Our house was originally built with a 2x6" vaulted ceilings in much of it and, wait for it, 1" particle board as "insulation". WTH? Insulation made sense in 1970, too. You do wonder what the builder/owner was thinking.
The limited attic got upgraded to R60 shortly after moving in, but it took solar to put reasonable insulation on the roof as we were told that we needed to redo the particle board which was deemed to be "structurally deficient" by the solar team. (Yay!) The roof insulation made an enormous difference to the perceived comfort level, and made realize the roof/ceiling had been basically a black body radiator absorbing heat or radiating heat at the occupants. It made the house feel drafty, even though it wasn't.
I would love to put insulation under the floors, but the ROI is close to forever. I may still do it for comfort reasons. I don't get why code in a fire zone requires crawl space vents every six feet. It just seems so wrong. (Nor why California has such huge ventilation requirements for gas water heaters compared to other states.) I have learned to accept building codes as the local culture but I do look at a number of codes and wonder how we got to some of the regulations.
Improving home energy efficiency is a tough nut to crack in a cost effective way. I am not very heat tolerant, so anyone dealing with high heat has my sympathy. (Humid or not)
All the best,
Yeah, that's why I actually thought the old Energy Upgrade California incentive made a lot of sense for people. Contractors were incentivized to find ways for California homes to increase their heating and cooling efficiency; and pass these recommendations to homeowners looking to improve. Then the work would be subsidized and the theory would benefit the homeowner and State in the long run.
Unfortunately that program was abused pretty badly, and the vast majority of homes that saw the benefit were richer homes that could afford really expensive re-models. Much of the money was just spent on contractors up-selling folks for fancy luxury systems that they probably wouldn't have bought had the incentive not happened. There wasn't as much of the investment going into insulation, better HERS ratings, and triple pane windows.
I guess it's up to the homeowner to do whatever they can; with the threat of outrageous energy bills being the catalyst. Much more of a free market approach... if only the utilities didn't crap all over the efforts to get solar installed.