When it comes to the most crucial aspect of your home, some important ways you can take care of it include your windows being airtight, drywall being safe from water damage, and the roof of your home being secure from the elements.
Another integral — yet often overlooked — part of maintaining a home is proper insulation.
Many people simply don’t realize just how vital insulation is when it comes to keeping your home comfortable and heating and cooling it efficiently.
Homeowners make several common mistakes when it comes to insulating their homes, which results in poor insulation. In this post, we’ll look at some of the most common mistakes that you can avoid.
Mistake 1: Not Selecting the Right Type of Insulation
One of the most common issues homeowners face when insulating their homes is selecting the wrong type of insulation. Many factors contribute to choosing the right insulation, including:
- The location of your home
- Size of your home
- Your climate
There are four different types of insulation, and while they might look similar, they perform quite differently.
Fiberglass is a common type of loose-fill insulation and works by trapping air between its fibers to keep your home protected against extreme heat and cold.
Fiberglass is best when you’re looking for an affordable and effective option for attics, walls, and floor insulation.
Cellulose is another type of loose-fill insulation made up of recycled paper that has been shredded and treated with chemicals to make it fire-resistant. It works by trapping heat in your home through its pores, making it an excellent choice for attics and walls.
Additionally, cellulose can be the right choice if you’re looking to insulate your home on a budget. The main drawback of cellulose is that the fire-resistant chemical will deteriorate over time and become less effective.
Spray Foam Insulation
Spray foam is becoming more and more popular among homeowners. It works by filling the tiny spaces in your walls, floors, and ceilings with a coating of insulating foam.
Although quite expensive to install, spray foam can be the right choice if you want a quick way to increase energy efficiency in your home.
It’s important to note that spray foam is not recommended for older homes or those in particularly hot climates.
Stone or Slag Wool
A less common type of loose-fill insulation, stone/slag wool traps air inside and, much like fiberglass, uses fire-resistant materials and volcanic rock to insulate the home. This solution is ideal for attics and walls.
Mistake 2: Overlooking Air Leaks
Getting your home properly insulated will help you save on your energy bills and keep the temperature inside of your home consistent and comfortable — especially during the winter and summer months.
However, many people neglect to check for leaks or gaps. This is especially common in attic insulation.
Gaps and leaks can waste energy and money. Finding and fixing them can ensure that your insulation remains effective for as long as possible.
So be sure to:
- Check for leaks in your home at least twice a year.
- Seal the leaks you find using materials like caulk or weather stripping.
Mistake 3: Leaving Bugs and Rodents Unchecked
If you’ve heard small noises coming from your attic or noticed droppings in your walls, they are common signs that you have a rodent or insect problem on your hands.
Poor insulation and pest infestations go hand in hand, as pests love to make a home in your insulation by burrowing through it, especially in cold climates.
To prevent this from happening: Check for any signs of pest infestation regularly. Take steps to get rid of them immediately if found:
- This can include sealing up any gaps or holes in your walls
- Investing in a pest control plan to help keep your home free from these unwanted visitors.
Mistake 4: Hiring Poor Installation Contractors
Be sure you only do business with reputable and experienced contractors.
While we have mostly touched on DIY on this list, most homeowners will hire someone to install or replace their insulation.
Unfortunately, many inexperienced contractors can end up doing a subpar job when it comes to insulating your home. This can lead to wasted energy and cost thousands of dollars in repairs down the road.
Be sure to do thorough research on any contractor that you plan on hiring. Look online for reviews, and get recommendations from trusted friends and family. Additionally, be sure to ask for a detailed quote so that you know exactly what to expect when it comes to the cost of getting your insulation done.
Mistake 5: Forgetting About Exterior Holes
While this mistake might seem obvious, small holes in your exterior walls can have a major impact on the effectiveness of your insulation. This is especially true if you have an older home, as holes and cracks are commonly found outside of these homes due to natural wear and tear.
To prevent any heat loss, seeping air, or water leak, be sure to check for any cracks or holes in your exterior and seal them up as soon as possible.
Mistake 6: Ignoring the Insulation Around Windows and Doors
While ensuring every part of your house is insulated correctly is important, it’s also essential to give extra attention to window frames and doors.
Typically, these areas are much more likely to allow cold air in during the winter or hot air out during the summer, so it’s essential that you take extra care when sealing them up.
One of the best ways to do this is by investing in high-quality weather stripping, which you can use to seal up any gaps or cracks around your windows and doors. Additionally, it’s also a good idea to add an extra layer of insulation on the outside of these areas for added protection.
Insulation is one of the most critical factors in making your home both comfortable and energy efficient. Be sure to inspect the insulation job properly, whether it’s a brand-new house or just getting the insulation redone.
By doing so, you can enjoy lower energy bills and a better quality of life all year round.