Do you believe that your house has enough insulation? There is a 90% chance your house doesn’t have enough insulation unless you have added insulation to a renovated or a newly bought home, or extra insulation was added when your home was being built. As per the data released by North American Insulation Manufacturers Association, 9/10 homes in the US do not have enough insulation.
The importance of insulation in homes should be clear from the fact that heating and cooling costs account for 42% of the utility bill in a typical home as per the data provided by the US Department of Energy. A poorly insulated home means higher utility bills. If there isn’t enough insulation, the hot or cold air produced by your heating and cooling system will keep escaping through the attic and the walls.
You can bring down your utility bills by an average of up to 20% with proper insulation. Improper installation of insulation or under insulation has the potential to damage your bank account and your home. If you are wondering whether your home requires additional insulation, here are 9 ways for you to tell.
Temperatures Keep Fluctuating
If temperature remains even throughout your home, it means insulation is good. However, different temperatures in different rooms means you need additional insulation. If you feel too cold in your kitchen but the feeling is completely opposite in the living room, it’s a sign of poor or under insulation.
Higher Than Average Energy Bills
Check your energy bills for the last few years and figure out if there has been an increase in the energy bills over the years. It can be due to settling down of blown-in insulation in the walls and attic. When insulation settles down, it becomes less effective which means some areas are not completely protected from cold temperatures. If your heating and cooling unit is working overtime, it might be difficult for you to feel the extreme fluctuation in temperatures but you will definitely notice the higher energy bills. If the hot air is escaping through the walls and roof of your home, it’s time to add insulation and bring down those utility bills.
Ceilings, Floors and Walls are Cold
Touch the interior ceiling, floor and walls of your home. These should be dry and warm. If the paneling and drywall inside your home feel cold and damp, it means you need additional insulation. Also, the exterior walls of your home should feel cold as insulation should keep the warm air inside.
Some Rooms Are Cold
If some rooms in your home are hotter or colder than others and you haven’t found any other problems, it could be due to poor insulation in case there is enough ventilation in those rooms. Usually, it happens in the rooms that are below the attic or above the garage. This is the reason, you need to ensure that all the rooms in your home are properly insulated. Poor insulation is incapable of preventing cold and hot air from escaping.
If you feel chilly drafts in some areas of your home during the winter months, it could be due to cold air from outside finding a way inside your home. Typically it happens around the doorway and window frames. You can prevent these cold drafts by adding extra insulation to these areas. Addition of insulation will make you feel more comfortable inside your house and you also get to save quite a bit of money on your energy bills. The right choice in such situations is spray foam insulation as it not only insulates but also seals the cracks and crevices.
Attic Water Leaks
Poor insulation not only lets the hot air escape out of your home but it also provides a way for water to get in. In fact, water leaks are much more common in a poorly insulated home as compared to one with appropriate insulation. If you notice water in your attic, it could be due to poor insulation. Water leaks in attic are a sign to get the insulation replaced immediately. Water leaks can lead to health problems such as mold growth and also has the potential to cost you a lot of money. Here at MGT Insulation, we deal with all types of attic insulation issues.
Roof Ice Dams
If there are ice dams forming on your roof during a Minnesota winter, it could be due to poor insulation. These dams happen when heat escaping from a poorly insulated home melts part of the snow in touch with the roof. This heat melts the snow and water begins to trickle down towards the gutters. As this water hits the cold air, it freezes and that leads to formation of ice dams. Ice dams are nothing but oversized icicles and huge chunks of ice. These have the potential to severely damage the gutter and roof. Also, it’s a huge safety hazard for the people below.
Pipes Get Frozen
One major sign of a poorly insulated home is frozen pipes in the walls. Freezing temperatures in Minnesota can cause pipes to freeze but properly insulated homes shouldn’t have such problems. If the exterior walls are poorly insulated, it could lead to frozen pipes and those pipes will burst. Needless to say, you will have to spend thousands of dollars to replace those pipes. It is recommended to invest in crawlspace insulation to protect the pipes.