If you like “playing detective,” then determining if your home needs more insulation will be right up your alley.
And if you're ambivalent about it, then you may have a change of heart because a little hunting around often confirms homeowners' suspicions. In other words, “playing detective” could empower you to call an insulation contractor ASAP to remedy the problem.
Either way, five signs in particular point to the likelihood that your insulation has deteriorated so that it can no longer fulfills its basic function: keeping your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Your home is drafty or more humid
Check first that the drafts you feel are not coming from improperly sealed doors or windows; they might be. Otherwise, it's possible that drafts are seeping into your home through other parts of its “envelope”: the roof, attic, subfloor or exterior walls. Many homes lose as much as 20 percent of their conditioned air through the envelope, the U.S. Department of Energy says. Added insulation can stem this loss.
The temperatures in your home can vary widely
Some disparity is normal, especially between the lower and upper levels. This happens because heat naturally rises and cool air falls. What should stand out more are temperature fluctuations that exist on the same level of your home. It pays to factor in the exposure of those variant rooms; wind gusts and sunlight may be contributing to uneven temperatures. But the walls or ceiling may be improperly insulated, too.
You can see the floor joints or cracks of light in the floor of your attic
Attic insulation should be tightly packed and evenly spread for it to be effective. So if you can see the floor joists, you probably need more insulation. A conscientious insulation contractor will recommend that insulation reaches a depth of between 10 and 14 inches (which you can measure with a rigid tape measure).
Your energy bills are increasing but your energy usage isn't
A lack of insulation could be creating a “suction” effect – literally pulling the conditioned air right out of your home. This scenario, in turn, causes your air conditioner to work longer (and produce higher energy bills) to compensate. This can be a tricky problem to pinpoint – and part of what makes “playing detective” so challenging.
Other “forces” are undermining your insulation
Water damage is a sure insulation killer, literally causing it to disintegrate when it becomes saturated. But another influence can doom insulation, too: mice, squirrels and roaches may have found their way into the insulation, burrowing a home not only for themselves but also the offspring to come. In this case, eliminating the infestation must precede the addition of insulation.
The best way to confirm your suspicions is to call the most dependable Las Vegas insulation contractor: First Quality Roofing & Insulation. Then settle in with our downloadable “Home Insulation Guide.” Get your questions ready, and after we arrive at your house to “play detective," you'll finally have the answers you've been looking for.