A new study from the North American Insulation Manufacturer’s Association (NAIMA) states that about 90 percent of American homes have insufficient insulation. Consider this information in light of the Department of Energy’s statement that heating and cooling costs make up about 48 percent of the average household’s annual energy expense. Under-insulation is clearly a very serious problem. Is your home under-insulated? There are certain issues that could arise if it is.
3 Symptoms of Under-Insulation
- High Energy Bills
Home insulation based on the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code would cause residential energy use to fall by approximately five percent. This is according to the NAIMA study’s lead researcher, Jonathan Levy. If your HVAC system is working efficiently and you have energy-efficient windows, your utility bills should reflect these things. If your bills are still high, the problem may lie with your insulation.
- Freezing Pipes
If you find your pipes freezing in the winter, this is probably because your home is under-insulated. It is important to fix this problem as soon as possible to avoid flooding.
- Warmer Upstairs Rooms During the Summer
Insufficient insulation can also make rooms on upper floors warmer and more humid during the summer. If your upstairs rooms are more than 10 degrees warmer than rooms on your lower floor, the cause is probably insufficient insulation.
How to Check Whether Your Home Has Sufficient Insulation
Focus on the attic. Attic insulation plays a major role in preventing heat from escaping in the winter. It also keeps your home from becoming uncomfortably warm in the summer. If the insulation in your attic does not rise above your floor joists, then you need to add more. Check the insulation in your walls as well. You can do this by removing the cover on an electrical outlet and shining a flashlight into the wall.
The reality is that if your home is an older one, it probably does not have enough insulation. It is worth it to find out and to remedy the problem as soon as possible.
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