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5 Signs of Poor Home Insulation

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Unless you’re building a home from the ground up, chances are that you don’t often think about insulation. However, it may be a good thing to start wondering about it, considering that approximately 90% of homes in the United States are under insulated.

The problem with such a number is that it means that the majority of the population in this country is sacrificing to some degree their level of comfort. In addition, they’re also likely wasting energy (and paying for it out of pocket).

So how do you know if you’re one of those people, and what can you do about it?

How Does Insulation Work?

Let's start with the basics. An insulation’s thermal resistance is measured in what’s called R-value. The higher the R-value, the better the insulation. If you have a low value, you can increase it by adding additional layers.

Not all homes need the same type of insulation. When deciding if what you have is adequate, you’ll need to take into account the climate in your geographical location, the type of HVAC system you’ve installed in your home, and the part of the home where you’re installing insulation.

In addition, there are different types of insulation to fit your needs, such as environmentally friendly options, fire retardants, moisture resistance, or an ability to withstand high temperatures.

With so many options available, how do you know if what’s already in your home is adequate?

5 Signs of Poor Insulation in a House

When a home doesn’t have proper insulation, its residents will usually notice some of the following factors:

1. Uneven Temperatures Throughout Your Home

When you set a temperature on your thermostat, your HVAC system will continue to run until it reaches it. Once it hits that magic number, it’ll cycle off. If your home is insulated adequately, your entire household will have even temperatures throughout. Faulty insulation will prevent this from happening.

Also be aware that heat can escape your home through windows, so if the colder rooms also happen to have lots of windows, you may just need to install additional weatherstripping.

2. Higher Energy Bills

If you’ve noticed that your energy bills have increased despite the fact that you’ve kept your energy consumption constant, it may mean that your insulation has lost some of its effectiveness. This is more likely to be the case in an older home since insulation typically has a lifespan of 80 and 100 years. That being said, it’s entirely possible for circumstances to significantly shorten that lifespan, such as mold, water leaks, or an accumulation of dust.

3. Your Home Is Drafty During Winter

If you can feel drafts in a specific room in your home, you already have your answer as to where you have poor insulation. However, if you’ve noticed them in several rooms in your home, it would be beneficial to conduct a home energy audit to pinpoint the exact problem areas. You can hire a professional auditor to do it, or you can do it yourself.

4. Cold Walls

Proper insulation traps warm air inside your home. Therefore, interior walls should not feel cold to the touch. If your walls are cold, your home would benefit from adding insulation. In addition, verify whether the top of your walls are open to the attic since cold attic air could be entering those spaces.

5. Poor Air Quality

When leaks allow air to come into your home, pollen and other allergens will come inside too. If you’ve noticed that you or your family members are more prone to allergies or asthma than usual, and you’ve noticed some of the others items on this list, poor insulation may be to blame.

Something else that may affect air quality inside your home is the type of insulation. If your house was built in the 1970s or early 1980s, it would serve you well to find out whether it has Urea-Formaldehyde Foam Insulation (UFFI). It’s no longer installed in newer homes, however, due to insulation longevity, older homes may have formaldehyde vapors present.

Signs of Poor Attic Insulation

The most common sign that your attic needs additional insulation is being able to see the floor joists. If you’re unsure as to whether you should install additional insulation, measure the layers. If they are less than R-30, add additional insulation until it reaches that level.

The good news is that attics can be insulated with loose-fill insulation, which is more cost-effective than other types of insulation.

To ensure that you’re getting the most bang for your buck, make sure that spaces around ductwork are sealed, your roof doesn’t need repairs and any leaks are taken care of before adding insulation.

Get a Free Quote Today!

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At Aspenmark Roofing and Solar, we’ve been proudly serving the Dallas/Fort Worth area for over 13 years. Let us inspect your attic and conduct a comprehensive ventilation and insulation assessment.

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