Spring Cleaning? Include Your Insulation!
Do you make a big deal out of spring cleaning? As the weather gets warmer, homeowners throughout Northern Virginia and the Metro DC area start thinking about the many projects around the home that need to get done to get their house ready for summer and warmer weather.
One of the projects that is often forgotten about, however, is your home insulation. Insulation is just as essential in the summer as it is in the winter, making sure that outdoor temperatures stay outside and indoor comfort stays right where it is.
You certainly don’t need wall, crawlspace, or attic insulation replacement every year, but spring cleaning this year is a great opportunity to check to see if your insulation is in need of replacement. Here are some of the reasons why it could be time to call an insulation installation professional.
Old Insulation Can Grow Mold and Cause Air Quality Issues
Many different kinds of insulation—particularly the ones that were installed a long time ago—have a big Achilles heel: moisture. When fiberglass batt insulation—the pink stuff—or cellulose insulation gets wet, its effectiveness is greatly reduced. What was once perfectly good insulation protecting your home is now allowing lots of heat to transfer in and out of your home, raising your heating and cooling costs and decreasing your overall home comfort.
Another side effect of wet insulation is that it can grow mold. It’s not a good idea to have mold growing in your walls and unfinished spaces of your home—that mold can make its way into your breathing air, causing allergy-like symptoms, make asthma worse, and irritate your eyes, nose, and throat.
Old Insulation Can Settle and Get Squished
Another problem with old insulation is that it can lose its insulating capabilities when the material settles or compacts. Most insulation types, like cellulose and fiberglass, slow heat transfer by forcing heat to pass through air pockets in the insulation material. When the insulation is pressed closer together, heat will be able to transfer more easily, and you’ll feel the difference, both in your home comfort and in your wallet.
They Just Didn’t Make Insulation Like They Do Now
Insulation materials and installation practices of the past weren’t as sophisticated as they are now. We know now more than ever about building science, and take great strides to minimize heating and cooling costs and energy usage in your home through insulation and air sealing upgrades. But older insulation often wasn’t installed as thickly as it is today, and some older materials used break down over time.
Put an Energy Audit on Your Spring To-Do List
Are your heating and cooling costs too high? Do you deal with inconsistent indoor temperatures when it’s really hot or really cold outside? You’re likely a great candidate for insulation removal and replacement. The best way to tell for sure? An energy audit from The Fifth Fuel.
An energy audit analyzes how much energy your home is wasting through heat transfer and air movement between the inside and outside of your home. Energy audits can pinpoint exactly where the weak points in your home are, allowing a professional home performance expert to recommend the home improvements that will make the biggest difference in your utility bills and home comfort.