With summer just around the corner, now is a great time to check to see if your home is properly insulated. Without proper insulation, homes are more heavily impacted by extreme temperatures. Heated or cooled air can escape the home if the heat transfer is not slowed by insulation.
First, if you live in a newer home you likely do not have to worry about a lack of insulation, but if you notice warm and cool spots in your home, then you should ensure that all areas are insulated sufficiently and evenly.
Check your home for proper insulation, here are a few tips on what to look for:
- Start at the top: Check your attic or crawl space to see if the floor joists are visible. If they are not completely covered, it is likely that more insulation is needed. The easiest solution is to add on loose fill insulation on top of what is there. A rule of thumb to keep in mind is to have 12 inches of insulation regardless of climate. If you have a very large home you may want to consider spray foam insulation.
- Check the ceiling: Feel the ceiling just below the attic. If this area is nearly as warm as the attic itself then there likely is not enough insulation.
- Look at the walls: If the walls in your home are plaster there may not be any insulation. In order to check the insulation behind drywall, you will need to drill a hole between the wall studs- this can be done from the inside or outside, but the interior holes are easier (and cheaper) to repair.
- Above your garage: If you have an attached garage it is possible there is no insulation at all above it. Blown Insulation is a quick fix for this problem.
- Inspect the quality of the insulation: If there is insulation in the walls, but it has become compacted or is not functioning properly, then the insulation should be removed and replaced with blown-in insulation.
Thankfully, not having enough insulation is an easy and relatively inexpensive project to take on and can save a lot in energy costs.