Homeowners in the northeastern states usually begin to start thinking about insulation and energy efficiency right about the time the kids go back to school, the leaves begin to fall and the wind picks up a cool, wintry breeze. Massachusetts homeowners, as well as homeowners in Connecticut, Rhode Island and everywhere else in New England, should do all they can to ensure that their homes are properly insulated before the cold weather hits to reduce energy consumption, lower utility costs and create a more comfortable temperature controlled environment.
Today we’re going to talk about the four things that homeowners need to do to make sure that their home is properly insulated. Some of these things you can see for yourself, but if you don’t have a lot of experience working with insulation or aren’t sure of what to look for, it can be a huge advantage to hire a professional insulation installer to inspect and assess your home. Make sure to choose a company that has experience working with residential and commercial clients within the region for best results.
Step One – Top Down, R-Value Up!
Did you know that more heat gets lost out of the attic than any other place in your home? Most people know that heat rises, so it really isn’t surprising that a lot of the heat that you generate in your home during the winter months, makes its way up to the attic. An attic that isn’t properly insulated can be a big problem. In fact, studies show that as much as 60 percent of all leaks found in a typical home are located in the attic.
This is particularly true in homes that were built prior to 1980, which were not insulated using the new materials and technologies available today. The attic is one of the easiest places to add, increase or replace old insulation, because it is very easy to access. Blown-in insulation is the most common material used to improve insulation in an existing attic. This material can be easily blown-in over top of the existing insulation to instantly increase the R-value. Other options for attic insulation outside of blown-in insulation materials include fiberglass rolls or spray foam insulation.
Step Two – Typical “Problem” Areas
There are several typical problem areas found in residential properties that are more likely to need insulation improvements or replacement than others. Once you address the #1 problem in the attic, it’s time to check out the other common areas that professional insulation installers see issues with the most. Continue looking to the outside of your home, the area known as the “shell,” which is what protects you from the outside temperatures. Exterior walls, ceilings and floors should all be checked.
Rather than digging holes into your drywall and removing floors or ceilings, you can save a lot of time and money by contacting a local professional insulation installer to ask about getting a residential energy audit of your home. A residential energy audit uses thermal imaging technology to see leaks and problem areas inside of your home, removing the need to drill holes or make other structural changes to your property. Contact a reputable service, such as Richie’s Insulation in Southeastern Massachusetts. They are licensed to inspect and install insulation for homeowners in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Step Three – Know the Proper R-Value
Most homeowners are not aware of R-value or what it means to the quality and ability of their home’s insulation. Measuring the R-value of the insulation materials is the only way to be sure if you have enough insulation for your home. A professional insulation installer will include R-value determination as part of your residential energy audit, giving you cost-effective ideas and solutions that can help you boost your home’s R-value, if needed.
The R-value is a rating process used in the insulation industry to measure the amount of thermal resistance the insulation provides to the home from outside temperatures. Increases can be made easily just by boosting the thickness of the blown-in insulation. However, it is important to also make sure that your home has a proper air barrier and vapor seal in addition to a sufficient R-value of insulation materials. This is why hiring an expert is so important and why so many DIY insulation projects don’t produce the intended results.
Step Four – Hire a Pro You Can Trust
While many homeowners think they can take on a project of this size and importance, residential insulation – even blown-in insulation, which is one of the easiest to install – can be more complicated than it appears. Once you get a residential energy audit and consult with a professional insulation installer, you’ll have a better idea of what is required and how much work needs to be done.
Contact Richie’s Insulation for all of your insulation needs. From blown-in insulation to fiberglass rolls, high-tech spray on Icynene spray foam insulation and everything in between, Richie’s can provide you with an honest assessment of your current insulation situation and help you improve the energy efficiency of your home this winter. Richie’s provides professional services to homeowners in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts – even out on the Cape! Give us a call today for more information or to set an appointment for a residential energy audit.