What is Insulation?
Insulation creates a barrier between your home and the outside elements. It’s been made of many different materials through the years, but the further we progress in time the better our insulation technology gets. Depending on how old your house is, you might want to think about replacing it.
If your bills are climbing each season, or if you notice your home not staying cold during the summer or warm during the winter, it may mean you need to update your insulation. If you have an older home that hasn’t had their insulation updated in a couple decades you should think about how much “insulation technology” has advanced. Homes built before the 1980s will sometimes have a weaker insulation.
You would also need to replace it if you suspect water damage or had a leak in your roof. This kind of moist and warm environment creates the perfect atmosphere for mold when untreated, and you really don’t want that stuck in your walls.
Is it worth replacing the Insulation if you are NOT doing a remodel?
Well, if you aren’t already taking down your drywall like we did, you have a couple options.
- Hire a contractor to take the drywall down, replace it with updated insulation, and add back the drywall. This is what you would have to do with a situation like mold. The U.S. Department of Energy has a web page that will give you recommended insulation R-values for maximum energy efficiency, based on your zip code. Your contractor would know what is best for your home.
SIDE NOTE: If you are exposed to fiberglass for any reason like demolition, etc. It is best to take a cold shower. Since you’re dealing with tiny fibers of glass, a hot shower would open your pores and allow the fiberglass better access to your skin (ouch). Taking a cold shower ensures that you can remove as much fiberglass as possible from your skin.
- Another option you have, that would not require you to take down your walls completely is to do “blown-in” insulation. In this method, holes are made in the drywall and loose filling is pumped between the walls. This can also be sprayed in throughout the attic and used as a thick layer over your existing fiberglass insulation. On average, adding blown-in insulation to your home professionally could range in cost from $500 to $2,000 depending on the size of your home and attic. When your home is fully insulated you are not only saving money in your power bill, but also your gas bill. On average, you could save $600 to even thousands of dollarsin energy. Your insulation will pay for itself in just a year!
What if we don’t want to add insulation, isothere anything else we can do to conserve energy in our home?
Insulation can protect your home from the elements through the walls, but it can only do so much good when you have openings through your doors and windows. This is especially important if you have older windows. In our living room we have double or “dual pane” windows installed. In these types of windows, two panes of glass are installed, creating a pocket of insulating air between the glass. This keeps heat from transferring between the inside and the outside.\
If you have older windows, you may need to take another step to insulate them. You do this with weather-stripping. This is the material that you would install around your window to keep air from seeping in or out.
Does the same weather stripping work indoors?
A great tip is if you can see daylight coming from your doorframe, it’s time to “plug it up.” If you’re unsure, hold your hand around the edges of the closed door or window. You’ll FEEL cold or hot air coming in. You’ll need to address what is causing this problem and find a solution that fits. You can do that with a door weather stripping around the edges of the door or even a under door seal.
You’ll need to replace this if you keep it in an area of high traffic.
Another option is to use this door sweep draft stopper and sound blocker. These are great for preventing any little critters from crawling under your door too!
At the end of the day there are so many options but if you are remodelling I would highly recommending insulation your home. It’s a game changer.
If you missed the episode check it out by heading over to Home & Family!