Most of the energy used in your home goes toward heating and cooling. Maintaining a well-insulated home enables you to keep temperatures throughout your house comfortable and control your energy bills. Learn more about how to insulate your home properly and what to look for when selecting home insulation.
How Do You Tell If Your House Is Properly Insulated?
To determine whether your house is properly insulated, log on to the U.S. Department of Energy’s website and learn how to determine the R-value of your home’s insulation system. R-value refers to how resistant a material is to heat flow. The higher a material’s R-value, the greater its ability to insulate.
On the low end, loose-fill fiberglass has an R-value that ranges between 2.2 and 2.9 per inch of thickness. On the higher end, spray polyurethane foam has an R-value that ranges between 5.6 to 8.0 per inch of thickness.
Your home’s location, how it’s heated, and whether your house is newly constructed or a preexisting structure will determine the R-value of the insulation you need.
What Happens If Your House Is Not Insulated?
If your house lacks the correct amount of insulation or insulation isn’t installed correctly, your home will be negatively affected. Improper insulation can cause the following:
What Is the Standard Insulation for Homes?
It’s important to adequately insulate your attic because it can account for the greatest heat loss in your home. Measure the depth of your home’s current insulation. According to the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association, most energy codes recommend an R-value of 30 to 49 for attics. For example, if you want to attain an R-value of 38, you would need a minimum insulation thickness of 12 inches. If your current home insulation measures only 5 inches deep, you’ll need to add 7 inches of insulation to meet the 12-inch R-value of 38.
When calculating home insulation requirements, be sure you’re using the correct units of measurement. Loose-fill insulation follows a depth calculation, while blanket or sheet forms of insulation use batts or roll measurements.
How Do You Know When to Replace Insulation?
Look for the following seven signs to help you determine whether you should replace your home’s insulation.
If you observe any of the above conditions, consult Energy Diagnostics for an inspection of your home’s insulation.
Can You Get Sick from Old Insulation?
Poor quality old insulation can pose health hazards for homeowners. If your home is more than 10 years old, it likely contains fiberglass insulation in spaces such as attics. This type of insulation contains small glass fibers. If mishandled, these glass fibers can enter the air, where they can irritate the eyes, skin, and lungs.
Spaces where insulation is present, such as attics and unfinished basements, can often be damp. Damp conditions can contribute to biological growth, such as mold and mildew. Once this biological growth gets into insulation, it breaks down the insulation as it reproduces. When particles from this growth become airborne, they can cause respiratory infections, trigger allergy symptoms, and result in other health issues.
How Do You Keep a Poorly Insulated House Warm?
To keep poorly insulated homes warm during cold weather, you need to seal sources of air leaks in a home. Gaps around window frames, cracks between walls and baseboards, and plumbing penetration spots are all areas you need to address. While sealing cracks and gaps can offer a short-term solution, it can’t substitute for replacing poor-quality insulation.
What Types of Insulation Can Help Keep Your House Warm?
Homeowners can find several types of insulation for their homes. The following represent some of the many types of insulation commonly used in residential structures.
Contact Energy Diagnostics for an Insulation InspectionAre you concerned about your home insulation? Are you experiencing uncomfortable drafts or uneven temperatures throughout your house? Contact Energy Diagnostics for an inspection of your home’s insulation. We take pride in ensuring that homes are comfortable and healthy for homeowners and that homeowners benefit from lower utility bills. To learn more about insulation inspection and other residential services, send us a message through our website’s contact form or call us at 219-245-5957.