The insulation in your home slows the transfer of heat from one space to another. It not only acts as a barrier to the outside elements, it also protects the pipes that run through your walls – especially during the winter in colder climates when temperatures drop suddenly below zero causing pipes to freeze. The insulation in your home serves you by keeping warm air in and cold air out in the winter and cool air in and warm air out in the summer.
Insulation can be found throughout your home – in the walls, the roof and the floor. The walls typically account for about 60% of your home’s insulation. The roof (loft, attic) only accounts for about 25% of your home’s insulation, but since heat rises, it is very important to make sure it is properly and sufficiently insulated. Floor insulation makes up the remaining insulation – and it is also used to lessen sounds between floors.
Unless your home was built in the last few years, it probably isn’t sufficiently insulated. Some signs that you need more insulation:
- Rooms feel drafty around windows, doors, attic entry.
- Patchy snow on roof – heat may be escaping into attic causing snow on roof to melt.
- Heat or air conditioning runs constantly to keep air at desired temperature.
- Air coming through wall plugs.
Insulation prices vary between contractors, but it is usually based on how much you need and what type of insulation you and your contractor decide to use. Whether you need your entire attic re-insulated or just your walls or the whole house re-insulated, the cost of insulating will pay for itself in less time than you think. Installing new insulation will significantly lower your utility bills. Most people report saving hundreds of dollars each year on utility bills after having their homes re-insulated.
A few other reasons for insulation?
- Less energy used means a smaller carbon footprint you will leave on the earth. Some federal programs (some states, too) will also reimburse you for going green and proper insulation is one way toward that goal. The U.S. Department of Energy has recommended adding insulation to your home as the number one way to help reduce energy bills.
- When insulation does its job, your house becomes a cozier place to live! Well insulated homes don’t require you to continually change the thermostat or turn fans on in one room and heat on in another.
- Most newer brands of insulation actually help protect your home from fire. (Insulation made of fire resistant materials doesn’t stop fire completely, but it does help by making it difficult to move from room to room.)
- A properly insulated home increases the value of your home.
Regardless of the season or where you live, more insulation will help lower your utility bills, help you become more energy efficient, and make your home a more comfortable place to live.
Types of insulation: