You may think that your home insulation job is complete, but can you really be certain? The truth about insulation is that you may have to reinstall it or update it from time to time. But how do you know when it’s time for this project? If you have trouble keeping your home at a comfortable temperature, insulation that was done cheaply by an inexperienced contractor could be the cause.
If you are experiencing a draft within your home, your HVAC system is having trouble keeping up, or you are developing buildups of ice on your roof known as ice dams during the winter, these are all signs that it may be time to re-insulate. By re-insulating your home you can achieve a comfortable temperature all year-round, a quieter space, improved air quality, and a lower monthly utility bill.
Below you’ll find a list of indications that it may be time to update your insulation:
Your HVAC System Can’t Keep Up, Or You Have a High Monthly Bill
When it comes to older homes, inadequate insulation can be a major problem. If your heater or air conditioner has to operate constantly just to maintain a comfortable temperature, or you rely on devices such as portable fans or space heaters, then it’s probable that your home either has no insulation at all, or it isn’t thoroughly insulated enough.
Good insulation will help prevent heat from escaping or coming in, and a more thorough insulation system means your HVAC system won’t have to work so hard to keep the climate inside your home at an even temperature.
You Have Drafts or You Suffer From Allergies
These are problems that only updating the insulation in your home can solve. It is called infiltration, and it basically means that there are gaps in the insulation big enough to allow for cold air to slip inside.
You may also be encountering stack effect airflow, which is when warm air rises and is replaced by cold air from the air leaks in your home. This can be particularly problematic during the winter, causing your furnace to run constantly as the conditioned air escapes through the cracks in your insulation.
This infiltration effect can also be increased due to changes in weather. When a coming storm causes fluctuations in barometric pressure and temperature, it can feel drafty within the home. This happens because there are gaps in the building envelope. Plugging those holes with additional insulation and properly sealing them off is the only way to stop these drafts.
If you have outdoor allergies but are still suffering while inside, this could also be due to air infiltration. By updating your insulation and creating a good air seal and building envelope, you can eliminate the infiltration of outdoor allergens into the inside of your home, alleviating your symptoms.
You Have an Older Home
Back before the mid-1980s, Energy Efficiency was not as prized as it is today. Many homes built before that time were not even insulated at all. After the need for energy efficiency was recognized, building codes were updated for new structures requiring them to have a certain standard of insulation. However, many older homes never have their insulation needs addressed.
Even so, a number of these older homes had blown in or fiberglass insulation installed in order to meet the code requirements, but these materials have a tendency to settle and create gaps over extended periods of time, thereby reducing their overall effectiveness.
Additionally, homes that are older often have more drafts than newer ones because their doors and windows are outdated and don’t seal as tightly as in newly constructed homes. If there is air seeping in from these cracks or openings around the window frames or door frames, then there’s a good chance you also have a problem with infiltration.
You Experience Abundant Noise Pollution
If the insulation within your walls and ceilings is uneven or even missing, the sound is allowed to travel unabated through your home, disrupting your peace and quiet. With all that outside noise coming into your home, you may start to feel like your home doesn’t even have 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, trains, or even 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 outside noise while inside your home, you may want to consider updating your insulation.
Formation of Ice Dams
Ice dams form when melting snow and ice refreeze on the edge of the roof. This can cause damage to your roof because of the accumulation of stagnant water, or due to the excess weight of the ice.
The biggest cause of ice dams is due to inadequate insulation in the attic. If the attic isn’t well-insulated, heat from the home will heat up the roof. This then causes the snow towards the peak of the roof to melt. When the melted snow drips down towards the cooler edge of the roof it can refreeze, resulting in ice dams.
You may have noticed some of these signs indicating insufficient insulation within your own home. If so the time is now for taking action and making the necessary updates so that your home can become a more comfortable living space, and you can enjoy a lower utility bill
Whether you need to re-insulate with blown in, fiberglass, or spray foam, call an expert to help you determine if additional insulation is needed. You may even consider installing new doors and windows to achieve that airtight seal. It’s important to address these issues before the winter sets in!