News of rising fuel oil and electricity costs are causing many homeowners to pay more attention to the efficiency of their homes. If past bills for heating and cooling have been high, but the HVAC system is relatively new and working correctly, it may be a good time to consider investing in upgrades to the amount or type of insulation in the home.
Homeowners who are unsure if they should consider making changes to their home's insulation can use the following points of consideration to help them make the best decision for their situation.
Age of the home and quality of existing insulation
The age of the home can be an important factor in helping homeowners determine if an insulation upgrade is needed. Homes that are older than a decade or so may have insulation that has been compressed or damaged and is no longer able to offer suitable protection. Exposure to water from a plumbing or roof leak or pressure from rodent activity can degrade insulation and cause it to be less efficient. If the home is several decades old, homeowners may also need to consider upgrading the insulation to take advantage of new products that offer much greater efficiency than older versions.
Cost of the upgrade vs expected gain
Another important factor to consider in regards to upgrading or replacing the insulation in your home is the cost of the upgrade versus the expected benefits you may experience by doing so. The first of these benefits can be a reduction of energy used for the purposes of both heating and cooling. If current energy costs continue to rise, homeowners may find that the cost of upgrading their home's insulation can be recouped through savings on future energy bills.
Interior comfort and sound control
Additional benefits homeowners can experience by upgrading the insulation in their homes include interior comfort and sound control. Homes that have sufficient, high-quality insulation will typically feel more comfortable, even when the heating and cooling systems cycle less often. Insulation works by slowing or stopping air loss and the transfer of heat or cold. These actions prevent the drafts that can make areas of the home feel less comfortable than they should.
Proper insulation can also help with sound control. Insulation in exterior walls and attic spaces helps to muffle traffic and other types of outside noise and prevents it from reaching the interior of the home. Homeowners who need additional information to help them make a decision about upgrading their existing insulation should plan to discuss their situation with an insulation contractor in their area.