Home Insulation: Oh, The Places It'll Go!
Much like Dr. Seuss describes in his book of potential obstacles you’ll face but overcome in life, home insulation presents a unique challenge for existing homes. You’ll encounter potential insulation challenges in an older home. However, there’s also significant payback for facing these hurdles head-on.
The perils of owning older homesFull of charm, but at the same time, full of challenges, older homes were not built to the same codes as today’s highly efficient homes. Prior to 1980, any home that has not gone through an insulation upgrade will be extremely inefficient at stopping heat from moving through your home.Why is this a problem? Well, even though insulation is technically a barrier for heat movement, as a home occupant, you’ll notice that without insulation, your home feels warmer in the summer and cooler in the winter.
With an insulation upgrade in the right places, your home will do its job: Keep you cool in summer (Oh, how good do those ice cold breezes feel?) and warmer in the winter (The cozy warmth makes your home a retreat from the cold).
Where does insulation go?Identifying the places where insulation should go is not as easy as it seems. Sure, you could list the general areas where it’s needed, such as the floors, ceiling, walls and attic. However, there’s much more to it than that. Let’s look behind the walls. Insulation there needs to:
- Act as one continuous barrier, so that thermal bridging doesn’t occur. That’s a term for the heat transfer that occurs through the building materials.
- Prevent condensation on the interior of the wall.
- Address the wires, plumbing pipes and electrical outlets that dot the wall’s landscape.
- Meeting regulations for insulation efficiency in your region of the country.
- Insulating knee walls.
- Leaving space for insulation above any furnace or air conditioner, hot water heater or ductwork installed there.