How to check if your house is well insulated

December 23, 2014

Are your walls insulated? Here are a few right ways to check so you can lower your energy bills.

How to check if your house is well insulated

Sometimes, it’s a draft in a room and other times, it’s your obscenely high energy bills that make you wonder about the insulation in your home. It’s worth it to take the time to check if your house is well insulated. That way, you can do something about it.

Inspect your house for insulation

First and foremost, check each room of your home. Start by checking areas of the home where the walls and floors are exposed to areas that are not heated or insulated (like a basement or attic). It’s important to check how the house has been built structurally. Check each of the exposed rooms for areas where there is an easily removable outlet or vent. Make sure that the power is out before you remove the outlet cover in the rooms. Inspect the area and measure the thickness of any insulation that you find in the ceilings and walls.

You may eventually want to contact a professional to check any exterior insulation you may have that isn’t visible. Once you have all the measurements for the insulation you locate in each room, contact your local energy company to find out the real R-values for insulation in each of the areas, and to see if your house needs additional insulation to maximize your energy efficiency.

Check your house for air leaks

While you’re inspecting your walls and floors, you may discover that there are some obvious air leaks coming from holes made for your plumbing, electrical outlets, baseboards or windows. Before you decide on how much additional insulation you need to add, an easy way to seal air leaks is to use caulking or weather stripping in each of the areas.

Materials for insulation

Upon inspection of your house, if you decide that you do in fact need to add additional insulation, there are many different types of materials to consider. To decide, you’ll have to refer to the R-values of insulation for the areas of the home you're looking to insulate. DIYers often choose materials such as cellulose, blankets, wool and other materials. If you’re not familiar with the materials, do your research, plan carefully and take precautionary measures before the installment.

Insulation from a professional

For complex insulation jobs, get in touch with a certified contractor about their air sealing and insulation services. It’s important to get a few different estimates from various contractors for the R-value of insulation you will need to add to your home. It’s normal for costs to vary depending on the contractor that you use since there are different methods and factors that can affect how someone is quoting you.

Simply taking a look at your insulation can help you determine the best way to make your house energy efficient and cost-effective. Before you contact a professional, do a quick check around the house and jot down as much information as you can so that you're prepared for the questions they may ask you. Taking some extra time to do this will enable you to save in the long run and keep warm during the long winter nights.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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