A properly insulated home is key to keeping the interior of a house comfortable in even
the most extreme of climates. However, very few homeowners actually know about the
insulation in their home unless they were the ones who actually bought the home new. A
lack of insulation can result in higher energy bills and lead to drafty, uncomfortable
spaces. Fortunately, there are a few things homeowners can be on the lookout for that
could indicate the need for upgraded insulation.
Home Insulation: What to Look For
Typically, the easiest way to find out what type of insulation was used in the home when
it was built is to take a peek inside the attic. Depending on the type of attic access in the
home, however, this can be dangerous and should be done with extreme caution or with
the help of an insulation professional instead. Checking for the type of insulation (loose
fibers, granules, batts, etc.) and the materials (fiberglass, cellulose, etc.) will say a lot
about the quality of the insulation, as will its depth in the attic.
Of course, attic insulation isn’t always completely reflective of a home’s insulation
throughout, so there are some other “red flags” homeowners should watch out for that
could mean it’s time to upgrade or install new insulation altogether.
One of the most telling signs of poor or inadequate insulation is the existence of cold and/
or damp walls in the home. Drywall that feels cold or damp to the touch is likely not
insulated and is allowing moisture to enter the home, which can result in rot and other
problems down the road. Furthermore, specific rooms or spaces of the home that are
consistently a different temperature than the rest of the home should also be viewed as
problematic. This is especially true for rooms that are located above garages, as this could
indicate that the garage ceiling was not properly insulated when the home was built.
Of course, an unexplained increase in energy bills should also be considered a possible
sign of insulation problems. Homeowners should keep an eye on their heating and
cooling bills, being aware of the average costs for each year and comparing them with
each new year. Any significant increases could be caused by a lack of insulation that
needs to be addressed. Of course, there are other possible explanations for an increase in
these bills, so it’s best to call a professional to determine the true source.
Benefits of Upgrading Insulation
These are just a few problems homeowners should be on the lookout for when it comes to
insulation in their home. If it does turn out that an area in the home lacks proper
insulation or the existing insulation is inadequate, it may be time to consider upgrading or
installing new insulation altogether. Doing so will help maintain a more comfortable
temperature throughout the entire home, as well as reducing the likelihood of moisture
problems (such as mold and mildew) developing over time.
It’s also worth noting that installing new insulation can be a great selling point for those
looking to sell their homes in the near future. Prospective buyers who are conscious of
their energy use and carbon footprint will see this as a huge bonus, which can make new
insulation a great investment that actually increases the value of the home itself.
While it goes largely unseen, insulation plays a vital role in keeping any home
comfortable and energy costs down. Homeowners unsure of the state of their home’s
insulation should call an insulation professional for an evaluation and assessment.
Preston Guyton REALTORÂ®
Broker in Charge/Managing Partner, CRG Companies, Inc.