To most homeowners, they don’t even think about it. The insulation in our walls is so out of sight, out of mind, that it almost becomes invisible. However, it wasn’t for the insulation in your walls, there is a good chance that you would be one solid block of ice. Indeed, the insulation in our homes is vital for keeping us warm, comfortable and safe. Not only that, but it keeps the cold air out and traps the warm air in, which is important when you have the heat blasting and don’t want to waste energy. Not only is a lack of insulation uncomfortable – but it can also be a source of financial waste as well. Here are some ways that you can check your home’s insulation before winter.
Before you start choosing a new furnace for your home or taking other measures to prepare your home for the winter, you want to make sure that you have proper insulation. It’s an essential first step. Without the proper insulation, your furnace won’t be able to do its job correctly – most of the heat will simply escape through the walls. You can usually see with your own eyes the insulation in your attic and sometimes in your basement, but it can be harder to find the insulation in other walls. In order to do this, you need to unscrew phone jacks and electrical plates to get an insider view into your walls.
If it appears that you need more insulation, then you have your answer: your home needs to be re-insulated. However, there may be the case where you find that you have proper insulation, but it is the wrong kind of insulation for your region’s climate. Not only that, but your insulation may not have been properly installed – either because you live in an older home or because of shoddy workmanship. You can usually tell if it is one or the other if you start to notice that certain rooms in your home are colder than others.
When it comes down to it, your insulation should have a proper moisture barrier as well. You can find the moisture barrier by looking for what looks like a sheet of aluminum under the insulation. Also, you want to find out what the R-value of your insulation is. You can do this by spotting any numbers or text on your insulation. The R-value will connote what climatic region your insulation is intended for. If the R-value is wrong or if there is no moisture barrier, you may want to re-insulate.
Lastly, re-insulating can be an easy job, especially in the attic. In most cases, your home only needs to be re-insulated in the attic.
Having the proper insulation in the attic will prevent warm air from escaping. When hot air escapes through the roof, it can not only cool down your home -it can also melt snow and ice on your roof, which can result in water leaks and possibly water damage. So, make sure that you find out the proper R-value for your region and purchase the proper amount of insulation. At the end of the day, you should be re-insulating at the start of the cold season, but if you haven’t already – better late than never.