4 Things to Consider to Improve Home Insulation

If running your HVAC makes your utility bill skyrocket, the problem might be inadequate insulation in your house. Even if your attic has insulation, you might still be losing heat through the walls. Improved wall insulation can keep you more comfortable all seasons of the year. Here are some things to consider.

You May Want an Energy Audit

Your electricity provider might provide an energy audit as a free service. If not, you may want to hire a company that does audits so you can tell where your home is losing heat. One way they tell this is by using a thermal camera and taking video of the outside of your home. The video may show cold areas around your windows, doors, and exterior walls. This confirms the insulation in your walls is lacking so you can feel confident about your decision to add more insulation.

You May Not Need to Open the Walls

Decide if you want to open the walls to add insulation. Unless you plan to renovate and put up new drywall, opening the walls isn't necessary. The walls have to be open to install fiberglass batt insulation, but insulation can be blown or sprayed in through small holes if you don't want to take the walls down and disrupt your home.

You Have a Choice in Wall Insulation

You may want to discuss options with a wall insulation service so you know the best insulation for your house. You could choose fiberglass batt, blown fiberglass, blown cellulose, or spray foam. Each has its advantages, but all types of insulation work to block heat transfer so warm air stays in your house in the winter and hot air stays outdoors during the summer.

Blown and Spray Insulation Requires Cutting Holes

If you choose spray foam or blown insulation, the contractor needs to cut holes in the side of your house so the material can be blown or sprayed between the walls. This could entail cutting through vinyl, wood, or aluminum siding. However, the contractor closes the holes when finished so they are not noticeable when done.

When the wall insulation service blows in fiberglass or cellulose, the insulation fills up the void between the walls so there is a thick layer of insulation between your home and the outdoors that also acts as a sound barrier. No matter what type of insulation you choose to have blown in, it's treated to be fire retardant, so you don't have to worry about safety. Spray foam can be applied the same way, but it can also be installed when the walls are open. One advantage of spray foam is that it gets hard and can act as structural support for your home.

If you have a thermal camera or can borrow one, you may want to take videos of your home before and after you have the insulation installed so you can see the difference adding wall insulation makes. You should be more comfortable during the coldest and hottest days of the year without having to drive up your power bill.