This week on the screened porch to sun room project, the framing and electrical has passed inspection and James is laying insulation. As they say, timing is everything, and we thought this would be a great time to talk about that very thing. Fall is just around the corner and with the decrease in temperature and humidity, it is often a really good time of year to re-insulate your own home. This brings several questions to mind:
How do you know that you should re-insulate? There are several signs that will tell you if re-insulating your home is due:
- Home Temperature – One of the benefits of insulation is help keep the temperature in your home consistent. If you notice the temperature in your house is noticeably different from room to room and you or someone else in your home is not changing the thermostat regularly, it may be time to re-insulate.
- Utility Bill Rising – As insulation ages and settles, it may not longer be effective so pockets of your house are colder in the winter and warmer in the summer causing your heating and cooling systems to work harder. If you notice a rise in your utility bill that you cannot attribute to another cause, it may be time to replace your insulation.
- Colder than Normal Walls, Ceilings and Floors – When insulation is not doing its job, air is flowing from the outside to the inside and your walls, ceilings and floors feel colder to the touch. Ceilings and walls may even feel damp when they should be warm and dry.
- Wet Insulation – If you’ve had water damage in the roof or basement or around vents and the insulation has become wet as a result, it is time to replace it. Mold can grow in wet insulation that spreading toxins to other areas in the house. Plus, once the insulation is wet, it will not dry out and is no longer effective.
Is this a DIY job or should you call a professional?
Fiberglass or mineral wool batts and rolls can be fairly easily installed by the average DIYer. Other types of insulation such a spray foam need a professional for installation.
What types of insulation are out there and what should the DIYer choose?
The U.S. Department of Energy has a great breakdown of the different types of insulation including what they are made of, where to best use them, installation methods and advantages of each. Click here to see their chart. The only two that are designated as DIY from this resource are Blanket: Batts and Rolls and Reflective System. Blanket: Batts and Rolls is the least expensive and is also the one most people are familiar with: it’s the pink stuff we step so gingerly around in our attics so as not to fall through it or get the itchy fibers on us while hunting for the Christmas decorations.
Keeping your home well insulated will save you on your energy bill and sock stock plus keep your home comfortable all year round. Comments? Questions? Leave them in the comments below!