Whether your house is brand-new or has been well lived-in for years, the chances are that your insulation may need an update. Studies have shown that over 90% of homes in the United States are under-insulated.
The first reason for this is that builders typically only install enough insulation to bring the house up to code in your local jurisdiction. From a builder's perspective, there's no reason to add any more insulation than is necessary and incur higher costs. So even if your home is brand-new, it may be under-insulated.
The second reason is that insulation settles and degrades over time, so if you've been living in your home for many years, there's a good chance your insulation may not be as effective as it was when you first moved in.
So, how can you tell if your house is well insulated? The most obvious answer is to hire a professional insulation expert and have them do a full evaluation. Still, your home may be displaying some warning signs telling you your insulation requires an update.
Symptom #1: Very Cold or Very Warm Walls
This is an easy test to perform on your own. Ideally, try this in the winter, where it's easier to notice a significant difference between the indoor temperature and the wall temperature. Place your hand on an exterior-facing wall. Suppose it's significantly colder than the interior temperature of the room. In that case, your insulation may not be adequately trapping heat inside your home and allowing it to seep out through the walls.
Symptom #2: Indoor Temperature Fluctuations
Pay attention to the temperature of the different rooms in your home. You may have insufficient insulation if you notice significant temperature fluctuations between one room and another with all windows and doors closed.
Symptom #3: Higher Energy Bills
If you start to see your energy bills creeping up steadily without any significant changes in your home's energy demands (you haven't installed any new major appliances or other energy-demanding items), your insulation may be to blame. As insulation degrades over time, it becomes less effective, and your home's heating and cooling system has to work harder to keep your home and your desired temperature, thus driving up your bill.
Symptom #4: Pests
If you notice that your home has some uninvited tenants, like mice or roaches, it may be a sign that your insulation and walls need an inspection. Pests can cause damage to insulation, and vice versa, homes with inadequate insulation will let in more pests than a properly insulated home.
Symptom #5: Moisture
Wet spots on walls or ceilings should be addressed immediately and not ignored. Not only are they often a sign of improper insulation, but they can also cause severe damage if not addressed quickly. If you notice moisture collecting in your home, it's a good time to call an insulation expert.
Symptom #6: Mold or Mildew
This is what happens when improper insulation begins to let in moisture. You can end up with mold and mildew spawning in your attic, ceilings, or walls. If you start to smell or see mold, there's a chance that improper insulation may be to blame.
Symptom #7: Noticeable Drafts
If you start noticing a little chill in the air but no windows or doors are open, that's a good warning sign that your home isn't properly sealed and insulated. Try to locate any areas in your home where the draft may be coming from so you can point them out to an insulation expert who can help you address the problem.
What Should You Do if You Suspect Your Home Needs an Insulation Update?
The short answer is that the best way for you to address any suspected insulation issues in your home is to call an insulation expert who can do a thorough evaluation of your home's insulation needs.
The biggest benefit to updating your current insulation is not only a more comfortable and temperate home but also long-term energy savings. A well-insulated home allows your heating and cooling systems to work more efficiently, saving you big bucks on your heating and cooling bills for years to come.
At Koala Insulation, our experts are well-versed in all kinds of attic insulation and ventilation. Our experts will arrive with state-of-the-art equipment to thoroughly inspect your attic or home and identify any areas in need of repair or improvement. They will provide a detailed assessment of the current conditions of your space and use their years of experience to design solutions that fit your home and budget.
By hiring a Koala Insulation expert, you not only get to enjoy a more efficient home faster, but you also get to benefit from the years of energy savings that professionally installed insulation will bring.