February 4, 2015

Home insulation is paramount to the proper heating and cooling of a home. While insulation in a newer house is usually high-quality, insulation in an older home actually wears with age. If worn insulation is not replaced, it could mean a significant increase on the electricity bill, uncomfortable rooms or drafts, among many other problems.

Does your home’s insulation require replacement? There really is no definite period of time or set of rules to go by, but watching for certain signs will help point you in the right direction.

1. High utility bills: Most homeowners are sensitive to their heating and cooling bills, and are always on the lookout for ways to shave a few dollars off here or there. A spike in your bill often means the system is flipping on frequently to account for a cold or warm draft in the house, depending on the season. Replacing the insulation will regulate the temperature and lower the monthly bill.

2. Inconsistent room temperatures: Inadequate insulation can result in inconsistent temperatures. It might be a bathroom that’s especially cold or a living room that’s burning up. Stepping into that room feels different compared with other rooms, which is a sure sign of an insulation issue.

3. Drafts: Feeling a draft in the house when there aren’t any windows or doors open is kind of unsettling. You go indoors to escape a draft, so feeling them inside is hardly the ideal situation. Insulation is designed to regulate the temperatures in a home and to keep the outside air from coming in. Drafts inside the house on any level may indicate the need to replace your insulation.

4. Signs of aging: Insulation that was installed in older homes was of lower quality than the insulation installed in homes today. The best way to test for quality is to put on a glove and feel the insulation in the attic. If it starts to crumble, it’s time to replace it with newer, sturdier insulation that will last longer. And just because a home is older, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any green options available.

Pest Infestation in Attic

5. Pests: You like your home to be cozy, and so do pests. It's a common misconception that insulation will keep bugs and other critters out. Insects and other pests like to make their homes in insulation, especially in attics and basements. If you ever have an infestation in your home, it’s important to check the insulation. If there are any signs of infestation, it’s best to have it replaced to avoid future pest problems. 

6. Water damage: When there are heavy rains or flooding, water can seep through the roof or walls into the insulation. Or, you may have had a plumbing leak that went undiscovered for too long.  If the insulation isn’t properly dried afterward, it starts to mold. If you live in an area with high moisture or go through a flood, there’s a chance the insulation will need to be replaced. Mold that forms on your basement insulation can end up spreading through the air into other parts of the home, causing respiratory issues and other health problems

Wet Insulation Should be Removed

Have you noticed any of these issues in your home? You might consider a walk-through audit or assessment of your home and talk with an insulation professional about your options. If you’re questioning replacing your insulation, contact us.

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T. Coffey, Charlottesville, VA

Many thanks for a job well done. Your crew was efficient and thorough and the work was done in a timely manner.

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