So you think you are all set with insulation in your home, but are you really? You may have to reinstall insulation from time to time. But how do you know when it’s time? If your home isn’t staying at a comfortable level with ease, insulation that is done cheaply, by dodgy “professional” or just plain old could be a major contributing factor. If you’re experiencing a draft, have an HVAC system that that is having trouble keeping up with different temperature requirements throughout your home, or developing buildups of ice on your roof known as “ice dams” during winter months, these could all be signs that you need to re-insulate! Re-insulation allows also you to enjoy a quieter space, improved air quality, and lower utility bills.
Your heating/cooling system is under strain, or you have high utility bills.
Poor insulation is a big problem for those with older homes. If your furnace or air-conditioning system has to operate constantly just to maintain a comfortable temperature, or you have to deploy the use of climate control devices such as portable fans or space heaters, then it’s probable that your home is either completely uninsulated (common in houses built before the 80’s) or it isn’t thoroughly insulated enough–which can cause an uncomfortable temperature difference between the inside of your house and the weather outside.
Insulation will help prevent heat from escaping or entering your house, and more thorough insulation means you won’t have to constantly work to control the climate inside of your home.
You experience drafts inside your home or have complications from outdoor allergies while indoors.
This is a problem that only re-insulating your home can solve. The term for this condition is called infiltration, and it means that there are gaps in the insulation between wall studs, window frames, or doorframes big enough to allow cold air to slip inside. You might also encounter “stack effect” airflow, where warm air rises and is replaced by cold air from the gaps in the insulation. This can be particularly problematic during winter months when your furnace is turned on constantly and excess air escapes through poorly insulated cracks.
If your home is not well insulated, changes in weather can also increase this infiltration effect. When a storm causes large pressure and temperature differences, homes can feel drafty. This is because there are gaps in the envelope of the building that need to be sealed. Plugging those gaps with additional insulation and air sealing is an excellent way to prevent this. Doing so will improve the comfort inside your home as well as energy efficiency by keeping conditioned air from escaping to the outside world.
Your home is older than most.
Often, homes built before the mid-80s did not have the insulation levels we expect today. Before that time insulation wasn’t even required! Once the needs for energy efficiency were beginning to be recognized, building codes were put in place for new structures requiring insulation; however many older homes never had their insulation needs addressed. Even so, a number of these structures used blown in or fiberglass insulation to meet building code requirements, but these materials have a tendency to settle and create gaps over a prolonged period of time, reducing their effectiveness.
What’s more, older homes are often draftier than newer ones because their doors and windows don’t seal as tightly as modern homes. If you have air that seeps around these openings or cracks in window frames, then chances are that you have a problem with infiltration too.
You experience a high level of noise pollution within your home.
If the insulation in your walls and ceilings is uneven or missing, sound can travel freely through your home, making it difficult for you to enjoy a peaceful and tranquil environment. Additionally, if you live in an older home that was built without insulation, then exterior noises like traffic and loud neighbors may be unimpeded. You may start to feel like you’re living in an environment without walls at all!
Did you know that noise pollution can cause hypertension? If you live in an urban environment, or nearby a source of constant noise, such as a construction site, airplanes, or trains—or if you live in an older home without adequate insulation–noise pollution can be quite common and may affect you more than you think.
If you are experiencing a high level of noise while inside your home, you may want to consider re-insulating.
Accumulation of ice on your roof during the winter months.
Ice dams occur when snow and ice build up on the edge of a roof. This buildup traps melted water since it can’t flow off of the roof. The water backs up under the shingles and eventually refreezes into ice dams which can cause damage to your home either because of the accumulation of stagnant water or the excess weight of the ice.
The biggest cause of ice dams is underperforming insulation. If your home isn’t properly insulated, it will allow heat to be lost through the roof. This then causes the snow on the roof of the house to melt. When water from melted snow runs down towards the cooler edges of your roof it can freeze, creating these ice dams.
You may have noticed some of these signs of infiltration or lack of insulation in your own home. If so, it’s time to take action and make the necessary adjustments for a more comfortable living environment. Whether you need to re-insulate with blown-in fiberglass, spray foam insulation, or another type; call an expert who can help you determine if additional air sealing is needed, or even install new doors and windows that seal tightly–it’s important that you address this now before winter sets in!
Our team at Evergreen Insulation is happy to provide free consultations on how we can improve the energy efficiency of your home.