Homes built before 1980 often don’t have enough insulation. Experts prior to this time had no energy awareness.
Besides feeling warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, there’s another benefit to increasing the amounts of the attic and wall insulation you have in your home. Properly insulated homes save between 10% and 50% on heating and cooling bills each year.
Spring is the perfect time to make necessary home improvements. And increasing the amount of wall and attic insulation means your home feels comfortable, saves money, and reduces your carbon footprint.
Keep reading to learn our top five most helpful wall insulation tips.
1. Decide if You Need Wall Insulation
The first step is to see if you have insulation. In your attic, you should find either loose fill between ceiling joists or exposed batts of colored fiberglass.
Check your exterior walls for signs of a series of patched holes. This will confirm you have blown-in insulation.
Where to Check for Leaks
If you own an older home, they can be drafty places with warm air leaking from myriad areas. Search around your house to see where you might be losing heat such as:
- Electrical outlets
- Recessed lighting
The biggest spot where homes lose heat is through the top of the house. Heat rises and can’t escape if the roof isn’t insulated well enough.
2. Have a Safe Removal Plan for Old Insulation
Thankfully, today’s insulation options are safe. There are even green fiber insulation options available.
Unfortunately, in the past, some insulations were installed that aren’t all that safe or eco-friendly. And it’s important to understand how to remove old insulation safely and dispose of it properly.
Asbestos is a known carcinogen and was used as a component in heating system insulation starting in 1910. Unless you’re doing a full rehab on your home, it may be safer to leave it where it is.
Remember that asbestos fibers are harmful when airborne. Consult with an expert if you do need this material removed.
It was in the 1970s when people began using urea-formaldehyde as insulation. Its use was discontinued in the 1980s due to concerns of off-gassing.
Except for the initial curing, there’s no off-gas unless it comes into contact with water or moisture. If you’re concerned, have your home tested for vapors by an environmental company.
3. Decide on What Type of New Insulation to Use
There are four general categories when it comes to insulation:
- Loose-fill – cellulose, mineral or glass fibers
- Batts – fiberglass, cotton, or various wools
- Rigid insulation boards – composed of plastic foams or glass fibers
- Expanding – sprays proprietary systems
There are also alternative green insulation products available.
4. Figure Out Where to Install the Insulation
Where you’ll need insulation depends on your home. However, since most heat escapes through the roof, it’s best to begin in the attic.
If your attic is unfinished, install insulation on the floor. For actively-used attics, place insulation between the rafters.
Avoid moisture problems by making sure you don’t block the ridge, soffit or gable vents in the roof. Hire an electrician to check your wiring is up to code.
5. Limit Moisture Problems
Mold, rotting wood, and peeling paint are signs of high moisture levels. When moisture collects, it can cause problems like loose fills to settle and more.
Moist air from the outside can also migrate indoors. To avoid moisture problems, ask a professional on the best place to place the vapor barrier based on humidity levels in your home and region.
Hire a Professional Service
Adding attic and wall insulation is a difficult and messy job. It requires you to follow proper safety protocols and dispose of the old insulation properly.
That’s why it’s best left to the professional like us. We do all types of home insulations. Click here to contact us to learn how we can help keep you comfortable all year long.