An heirloom painting. A motivational poster. Photos of the grand kids.
Most people put at least some thought into what goes on their home’s walls, but have you ever thought about what goes in them?
Proper insulation is the most effective way to lower energy costs
Insulation is vital to a home’s comfort, and yet it’s not something home-buyers typically think to inquire about when searching for a home. It should be, though, says Steve Tetreault, owner of The Drying Co./ThermalTec, a Toano, Va., business that was recently named one of the Top 25 Insulation Contractors in the nation by Walls & Ceilings magazine for the second year in a row. Proper home insulation has numerous benefits, Tetreault says, including:
Temperature control. A well-insulated home keeps the indoor temperature steady year-round, meaning it stays cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
Energy efficiency. Insulation helps keep air from escaping the home, so the air you do need to heat or cool isn’t wasted. Uninsulated areas of your home will lose about 20 times the amount of heat as properly insulated areas, according to the National Insulation Association (NIA).
Cost savings. The less the furnace or air conditioner kicks on, the lower your gas and electric bills will be. And the savings can be dramatic. The NIA reports that an investment in proper home insulation typically pays for itself in six months to two years.
Noise reduction. While it won’t soundproof your home, insulation does absorb sound, which means your neighbors are less likely to hear your dinner music and you’re less likely to hear their dog barking at all hours.
Improved air quality. Insulating and air-sealing your home will immediately improve your indoor air quality by reducing the number of allergens that get in and by keeping moisture from settling and causing mold.
How to tell if your home needs help
If you’re wondering if your home would benefit from added insulation, there’s a good chance it would. Based on a Boston University study, the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association estimates that 90 percent of U.S. single-family homes are under-insulated. So how can you tell if your home is one of them?
“Homeowners typically call us because they are uncomfortable with the climate in their home or they have high energy bills they’d like to reduce,” Tetreault says, adding that uneven temperature throughout the home is one of the tell-tale signs of under-insulation. Other signs include walls that are cold to the touch and draftiness.
If you’re still unsure if your walls need attention, contact the Drying Co./ThermalTec to come out and evaluate your home. The home performance advisers at The Drying Co./ThermalTec will come out to inspect your home , identify areas of concern, and educate you on best practices for achieving your comfort and energy goals. And they’ll do it for free.
How to get help
While attics and crawl spaces are usually in need of the most work, you don’t need to worry about navigating the tight quarters yourself. Your home adviser will survey and take photos for you to see what your home’s insulation looks like.