HVAC experts say proper insulation offers one of the best lines of defense for keeping cold and warm air from escaping your home. You know you need a professional to inspect your insulation when the upstairs or a section of your home becomes too cold in the winter or too warm in the summer and the energy bills start climbing.
When your insulation goes bad, it can affect your roof directly! If your attic or crawl space insulation is not working properly, it can create problems with temperature regulation, indoor air quality, and heat transfer, all of which can directly affect your roof.
Energy Star Insulation
Proper insulation and weather-stripping can reduce your monthly heating and cooling costs by up to 20 percent, according to Energy Star, and your annual energy bill by up to 10 percent, highly rated HVAC professionals say. The EPA’s Energy Star program adds that adequate insulation is one of the most cost-saving home projects a homeowner can undertake.
There are a few signs that it is time to replace your old attic insulation:
If your insulation becomes moist or damp, there’s normally no saving it. It will no longer be able to do its job, and it will encourage the growth of mold. Replace any wet insulation immediately. Mold and mildew can threaten the health of everyone in your household including your pets. Even if the material dries out, mold spores can become airborne and travel to other wet areas of the house. If you catch it early enough, then you’ll only need to replace a small section of material, keeping your cost lower. An inspection will pick it up easily.
Before the government set standards and recommendations, some contractors insulated with just a few inches of material. Today, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends certain levels of insulating material based on the area of the country in which you live. If your home heats up too fast once the sun comes out, then that’s a clear sign you need more layers of insulation. You can request that an HVAC professional measure the R-value of your current material which is the ability of the material to resist heat.
Decayed Outdated Material
If your home was built a few decades ago, then the insulating material could have been made from fibers that can decay. Wool and cotton were sometimes used to insulate homes. They don’t have the long lifespan of materials like fiberglass. If that’s the case, then your home may be too hot in the summer or too cold in the winter. This is a situation where you’d need to replace it.
Settling and Compacting
Most insulating materials are designed to keep their shape for decades. However, they can still settle or press down over time. When the thickness drops, the material is no longer as strong as it once was. In this situation, you won’t need to fully replace it. You could simply add another layer(s) to the top.
If you’ve noticed the signs of rodents like squirrels or bats, check your insulation immediately. These critters can nest in your insulation and deposit feces, which may cause health problems.
Poor insulation can allow drafts to enter your home. If you notice odd breezes even after you shut all the doors and windows, check your attic or crawl space insulation for potential issues.
Benefits of Insulation
An easy and cost-effective way to keep warm or cold air from exiting your home is properly installing good-quality insulation which can save you money on your energy bills. The Environmental Protection Agency reports that adding insulation is one of the best cost-saving projects a homeowner can undertake.
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