Insulation is our first defense against the discomforts of outdoor weather. Effective home insulation keeps our home warm during the winter and cool during the summer. Heat gain or loss due to inadequate insulation is a leading cause of energy waste in most homes. Because heating and cooling accounts for 50% to 70% of energy used in a home, it’s particularly important to make sure your home is well-sealed and insulated. Home insulation can determine utility costs, HVAC lifespan, noise reduction, and other wear and tear. If your home wasn’t properly insulated during construction, you can have spray insulation installed into walls and hard-to-reach spaces in your home.
Benefits of Insulation
Effective home insulation can maintain your desired indoor temperature. Batt, blown-in, and spray insulation are particularly effective means of insulating walls. They each save energy, reduce heating and cooling bills, control noise, and reduce condensation. Proper insulation and air sealing can typically achieve a household energy savings of 10% to 20% annually. Additionally, designing a more energy efficient home is better for the environment, as insulation alone could account for abating 40% of total greenhouse gas emissions.
Thermal Insulation: Efficient Heating and Cooling
Good insulation stops the flow of heat into and out of the home. This makes your home more energy efficient all year round. Insulation keeps both heat and air conditioning inside the house, meaning your HVAC system will not have to work as hard and your energy bills will be lower. Insulation along exterior walls acts as a blanket-like barrier between your living area and extreme outdoor temperatures.
Acoustic Insulation and Noise Reduction
Insulating walls can reduce sound entering your home from outdoors, and it can reduce sound carrying from one room to another. Reducing sound transmission can help maximize enjoyment of every room in your house.
Improved Moisture Control
Moisture trapped within your home’s walls can cause a variety of problems. If water condenses within the walls, it can cause rot, mildew and even frozen patches of moisture that cause staining when they melt. Insulating with a vapor resistant membrane attached to your insulation reduces condensation caused by daily activities like bathing, cooking, and washing.
Types of Insulation
Whether you’re planning a new build, a renovation, or a remodel, it’s important to understand the insulation types available. Each offers its own benefits, depending on your space, climate, and specific project needs. Spray insulation, rigid boards, fiber insulation, and reflective radiant barriers all offer varying degrees of protection against sound and temperature transfer. Insulation experts can help you understand which insulation best suits your space, home climate, and budget.
When to Replace Insulation in Your Home
Insulation in newer homes is unlikely to wear out quickly, but older homes may contain insulation that needs to be replaced. If you notice high utility bills, chilly rooms, and evidence of pests, these could be signs that you need to replace your home’s insulation.
High Electricity Bills
Often one of the first indications of poor insulation is an electric bill that is significantly higher than usual. Because heat and cooling systems account for a large portion of your utility bill, when these systems need to turn on more frequently to do their job, it may mean insulation needs replacing. These upticks in cost may be gradual, so you may need to carefully monitor your utility bill to look for upward trends.
If you suspect insulation is failing, you can head up to the attic and feel your insulation with a glove. If your insulation starts to crumble when touched, it may have lost its efficacy. You can also contact an insulation expert to inspect your home. Older homes especially benefit from upgraded attic insulation, and this renovation can add to your home value. In fact, cost value reports show that professionally installed attic insulation recovers its entire price —and more— at home sale, offering a 108% return on investment.
Varying Room Temperatures
If you find temperatures are inconsistent throughout your house, your insulation may be failing. You may notice that one room is unusually cold and the room next to it is much warmer. You might also feel cold drafts in winter or hot spots in summer.
A furnace that’s running overtime in winter may be trying to regulate the temperature in a home where cold air is steadily invading. Updating insulation will cut down on the amount of time your furnace is running, and it will also save on long term system wear and tear.
Another place to check the efficacy of your insulation is along the roofline. In colder climates, you may see ice or icicles on the edge of your roof. Conversely, you may notice exposed roof tiles after a snowfall, indicating that warm air is escaping from the attic.
Mold growth and pest infestations can indicate an insulation problem. Unfortunately, insects like to get cozy in insulation, and if you find signs of an infestation, often the only way to eliminate the problem is to remove and replace the insulation. Check ceilings for mold, which could mean that your current insulation is holding moisture, leaving it vulnerable to mold, mildew, and bacterial growth.
Insulation Contractors Near You
For more information about insulation, contact a TruTeam branch near you. At TruTeam, we believe that excellence is in every step of the process. As such, our insulation technicians ensure timely completion and high quality installation services time after time. Our professional insulation contractors can evaluate your home’s current levels of insulation and recommend insulation products to fit your needs and your budget. For a free estimate, call TruTeam today!