According to the Insulation Contractors Association of America, approximately 44 percent of a typical homeowner's utility bill goes toward covering the cost to cool and heat their house. If your utility bills seem to get more expensive every year, chances are you've already gone to great lengths to save money. If you've already upgraded your HVAC or sealed every nook and cranny in your home, and you are still wasting electricity, there is another critical factor you've overlooked: your home's insulation. Here are three clear signs your home needs an insulation upgrade:
If your home has ever formed ice dams, you know how treacherous and damaging they can be. In addition to being a major headache, ice dams are also a sign that you need to upgrade your attic insulation. Heat rises and cold falls, and if your attic isn't sufficiently insulated, or if the insulation is damaged, older or simply failing, the heat that rises to your attic will continue to move upwards through your home's roof.
This heat will melt any snow on your roof and when the air temperature drops at night, the liquid will form a ridge across the edge of your roof. This ice ridge, or dam, won't allow any additional melting snow to naturally flow off your slanted roof. The water has to go somewhere and unfortunately; this somewhere is underneath your asphalt shingles.
If your home is prone to ice dams, a short-term solution is to ensure that any snow that builds up on your roof is removed immediately. However, this is once again a temporary solution. The permanent solution to this problem would be to upgrade your home's insulation.
A Serious Pest Problem
During the oppressive heat of the summer and the chilly winter temperatures, the insects, rodents and other assorted unwanted pests that are living outside of your home will look for a way to enter the comfort of your house. Even if you hire an exterminator and spend a small fortune to get rid of these pests, there may still be traces of them in your insulation.
Your home's insulation provides the ideal environment for pests of all sorts, from insects and bats to raccoons, opossums and mice, to live and reproduce. After the insects or animals that invaded your home are gone, make sure to check the insulation in your basement, crawlspace or attic. Chances are you will find a lot of animal feces and even a nest filled with the animal's young, hidden in the insulation.
It can be difficult to completely eliminate the fecal matter from the insulation, so the best idea is to have it replaced. Don't take a chance with your family's health and instead, find out how much it will cost to replace the insulation in your home.
Some Rooms Are Warmer or Cooler Than Others
Finally, one of the biggest signs that the insulation in your home needs to be replaced or upgraded is inconsistent temperatures throughout your home. Remember, insulation degrades at different rates, so if you notice that one room seems to be warmer than another room that is down the hall, chances are the insulation is insufficient in one area of your home.
If this is the case in your home, consider upgrading your insulation by utilizing an environmentally-friendly product such as green spray foam products. Not only is "green" insulation better for the environment, this inexpensive product is a great way to protect both your pocketbook and home.
Your home's insulation is the best line of defense against the elements. If you suspect your home's insulation needs to be replaced, don't wait and instead, contact a professional for assistance.