Home insulation is paramount to the proper heating and cooling of a home. While insulation in a newer or custom-built house is usually high quality, insulation in an older home wears with age. If worn insulation is not replaced, it could mean a significant increase on the electricity bill, a cold house in winter or a sauna during the summer, among many other problems.
Does your home’s insulation require replacement? To find out if it’s time, here are some signs of insulation degradation:
- High utility bills: Since heating and air conditioning typically account for a significant portion of the utility bill, a spike often means the system is flipping on frequently to account for a cold or warm draft in the house, depending on the season. Replacing the insulation will regulate the temperature and lower the monthly bill.
- Inconsistent room temperatures: Inadequate insulation can result in inconsistent temperatures. It might be a bathroom that’s especially cold or a living room that’s burning up. Stepping into that room feels different compared with other rooms, which is a sure sign of an insulation issue.
- Signs of aging: Insulation that was installed in older homes was of lower quality than the insulation installed in homes today. The best way to test for quality is to put on a glove and feel the insulation in the attic. If it starts to crumble, it’s time to replace it with newer, sturdier insulation that will last longer. And just because a home is older, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any green options available.
- Pests: You like your home to be cozy, and so do pests. Insects and other pests like to make their homes in insulation, especially in attics and basements. If you ever have an infestation in your home, it’s important to check the insulation. If there are any signs of infestation, it’s best to have it replaced to avoid future pest problems.
- Water damage: When there are heavy rains or flooding, water can seep through the roof or walls into the insulation. If the insulation isn’t properly dried afterward, it starts to mold. If you live in an area with high moisture or go through a flood, there’s a chance the insulation will need to be replaced.