Five obvious signs a home needs insulation
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.