Is your home leaking heat? Faulty insulation can cause your house to feel colder by the day.
In fact, many homeowners forget that insulation doesn't last forever. But how do you know when it's time to get it replaced?
Luckily, there are several telltale signs of poor insulation. Picking up on these signs can save you thousands of dollars in the future. Small leaks can turn into hazards that can turn into soaring utility bills and maintenance costs!
Keep reading to find out whether or not you're in need of insulation replacement services.
What Is Home Insulation?
Home insulation refers to special material in the walls of your home that helps to trap heat and create warmer spaces. Insulation provides a barrier between areas that have different temperatures.
You can find insulation material in walls, above ceilings, and in other hard-to-reach places. Thermal insulation helps to increase comfort and reduce energy costs.
Heat naturally flows from warmer spaces (like your home) to cooler spaces (like outside). Insulation slows this movement, helping to maintain a warmer temperature inside.
If it's working properly, insulation should help maintain a consistent temperature in each room in your home.
What Is Insulation Made of?
There are several different types of home insulation, so not all homes use the same materials.
A popular kind of home insulation is spray foam. Spray foam looks a lot like shaving cream and it's made out of organic chemical compounds. It is injected into existing walls and is good at filling small holes and crevices.
Fiberglass is another type of home insulation. It is made from plastic and reinforced with small glass fibers (hence the name!). Other kinds of insulation include cellulose and Rockwool.
How to Tell if Your Insulation Isn't Working
Does your home feel colder than usual? Do you suspect that your insulation may not be working properly? Here's how to tell.
1. Cold Rooms
Are certain rooms in your home feeling colder than others? Maybe your furnace is on but the room is still not heating up. This might be a sign that the heat is escaping due to poor insulation.
It's a scientific fact that hot air rises and cool air sinks. It may be that the heat is escaping from the top of the room. If you have an attic in your house, then that may be the issue.
If your attic isn't insulated properly, it may be causing heat from below to escape.
2. High Energy Bills
If your energy bill is sky high, it may be a sign that your insulation isn't doing its job.
When insulation isn't working properly, central heating systems have to work harder to warm the space. As warm hair constantly escapes from your home, your HVAC has to expend more energy to heat it up.
And as your HVAC expends more energy, your electricity and/or gas bills increase.
3. Cold Drafts
Another scientific fact is that air always moves to fill the space that it's in. That means that if warm air is constantly escaping from your home, cold air will move in to fill the space.
This can cause you to feel a cold draft or breeze coming into the room. These cold air currents come in through areas where your insulation isn't working. This includes the spaces around windows, doors, or electrical outlets.
Another sign of insulation that needs replacement is mold growth.
Problems with your insulation can lead to moisture build-up or internal condensation within your walls. This is what leads to mold growth.
Cold pipes are also more vulnerable to bursting or leaking and this can also cause wet areas in or on your walls. Mold is a serious issue as it can lead to respiratory problems. Symptoms of mold exposure include dry eyes, sore throat, and coughing.
Dampness and moisture build-up provide the perfect environment for mold to grow. So, if you see your walls turning green, it might be time to replace your insulation.
5. Old Insulation
Most people don't realize that insulation doesn't last a lifetime. In fact, you may have caught a glimpse of your insulation in the basement or attic looking grey and dull. If so, it may be time for a replacement.
When it comes to replacing insulation, you need the help of a professional. This is especially true for old homes. If you try to do it yourself, you may end up with a bigger problem than what you started with.
So how often should insulation be replaced? It differs depending on your home but the answer is approximately every 15 years.
6. Holes in the Wall
Have you noticed holes on the outside of your walls? This may be causing warm air to escape from your home.
Holes can be caused by hailstorms or accidents. It's important to get them fixed before you start getting mice and other critters deciding to move in with you.
7. Freezing Cold Walls
One of the telltale signs of poor insulation is freezing cold walls. The easiest way to test for this is by going around your house and touching each wall. If it's much colder than the temperature of the room, you may have a problem.
Cold walls mean that the heat in your home is escaping. In a home with proper insulation, warm air is kept inside and the temperature of your rooms and walls remains consistent.
Invest in Insulation Replacement Services
Nobody wants to be stuck in a cold house with sky-high energy bills and mold on the walls!
That's why it's important to get your insulation checked out to make sure it's working properly. If your home feels colder than usual and your walls are freezing to the touch, it may be time to invest in insulation replacement services.
GreenHome specializes in helping homeowners save on heating costs. We can help you inspect and replace your insulation. If you want to find out more, request a quote today.