Five ob­vi­ous signs a home needs in­su­la­tion

The Progress-Index - At Home - - NEWS -

The av­er­age fam­ily spends more than $1,000 each year – nearly half a home’s to­tal en­ergy –bill – on heat­ing and cool­ing costs, ac­cord­ing to the U.S. gov­ern­ment’s EN­ERGY STAR pro­gram. Ul­ti­mately, a large por­tion of those ex­penses are wasted due to poor home in­su­la­tion.

Home­own­ers can stop the en­ergy waste cy­cle by tak­ing a closer look at their home’s in­su­la­tion. One of the fastest and most cost­ef­fi­cient ways to re­duce en­ergy waste and lower bills, in­su­la­tion traps warm air in­side a home’s walls – sim­i­lar to how a fleece sweater does for the body – to reg­u­late a home’s tem­per­a­ture.

“For­tu­nately, there are tell­tale signs that can alert any home­owner that it’s time to add to or re­place their home’s in­su­la­tion – be­fore the tem­per­a­ture plunges even fur­ther and the en­ergy bill rises,” says Mike Benetti, seg­ment man­ager at a lead­ing man­u­fac­turer of stone wool in­su­la­tion.

The ex­perts ad­vise home­own­ers to run through the fol­low­ing check­list to de­ter­mine whether their home has ad­e­quate in­su­la­tion:

1. Vin­tage home: Prior to con­sis­tent build­ing codes, most homes built be­fore 1980 were not in­su­lated. If a home has no ma­te­ri­als trap­ping heat, en­ergy con­ser­va­tion is an up­hill bat­tle. Walls, ceil­ings and floors are the most im­por­tant ar­eas to add in­su­la­tion for an im­me­di­ate, pos­i­tive im­pact on a home’s en­ergy us­age and bills.

2. Non-stop fur­nace: If a fur­nace seems to run non-stop in the win­ter, it may not have ad­e­quate in­su­la­tion. Hav­ing ad­e­quate in­su­la­tion leads to less main­te­nance on a heat­ing sys­tem, as it lasts longer, runs less and will re­quire less main­te­nance for long-term cost sav­ings.

3. Tem­per­a­ture in­con­sis­tency: If cold spots are com­ing from the walls or at­tic, or one room is drafty and another one warm, it is another sign of poor in­su­la­tion. The fire­place, walls and at­tic are prime spots for drafts. Look for in­su­la­tion that can fit snugly in rafters and other tight ar­eas.

4. “Melted” roof hot spots: When shin­gles are ex­posed af­ter a re­cent snow­fall, chances are th­ese “hot spots” are in­dica­tive of warm air es­cap­ing. Check the at­tic for ad­e­quate in­su­la­tion. If the floor joists are vis­i­ble, it needs more in­su­la­tion, such as stone wool, that won’t sag or lose den­sity over time.

5. Mold Growth: Mold in the cor­ners of ceil­ings could mean cur­rent in­su­la­tion slumps and holds mois­ture. If this oc­curs, it’s time to re­place old in­su­la­tion with in­su­la­tion that does not store or trans­fer mois­ture and is com­pletely re­sis­tant to mold, mildew, rot and bac­te­rial growth.

Whether work­ing with a con­trac­tor or in­stalling in­su­la­tion as a do-it-your­self project, stone wool prod­ucts can of­fer su­pe­rior ben­e­fits over tra­di­tional in­su­la­tion, mak­ing them safer and more cost-ef­fi­cient over time. In ad­di­tion to pro­vid­ing ther­mal ben­e­fits, stone wool prod­ucts are fire re­sis­tant, wa­ter re­pel­lant and mold re­sis­tant, giv­ing home­own­ers ex­tra safety fea­tures that other com­monly used in­su­la­tions can­not claim.

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