Making sure your Lakewood, Texas home is well-insulated can help your HVAC system work more efficiently and allow you to maintain a more comfortable and consistent temperature throughout the year. The only way to make sure that the insulation in your home is effectively doing its job is to watch for the signs of its breaking down and performing an inspection.
Signs Your Attic Insulation May Need to Be Replaced
Even though nothing can replace a thorough examination by a professional, there are some signs that may mean it is time to consider replacement.
Once set, your HVAC system should be able to keep a consistent temperature throughout your home. If the temperature seems to fluctuate regularly or you have to keep adjusting your thermostat program, it could be that some of the insulation in your attic needs to be replaced. It could have shifted, broken down, or worn away allowing cold air to get in through the roof of your home and causing your HVAC system not to be able to do its job. Sometimes you may need to simply add more or you may have to replace it completely.
Higher Utility Bills
Poor insulation in your attic or crawl spaces or around your ductwork can cause cold air to come into the home and also cause the warm air to escape out of your ductwork. When this occurs, your HVAC system will have to run more and work harder in an effort to get the indoor air to the appropriate temperature. The harder your system has to work, the less efficient it will run, which will lead to an increase in your monthly energy bills.
Unfortunately, humans aren’t the only species that have found the temperature maintaining benefits that insulation can bring. Squirrels, mice, snakes, rats, bats, and other pests like to burrow into it and make safe and warm nests for their babies. When this occurs, they will not only destroy parts by chewing through it but also contaminate it by leaving grime and fecal matter. If you have pests in your attic, you need to make sure that you remove all the insulation they were around and replace it. Of course, homeowners will need to remove the pests first. It’s important to try and do this as humanely as possible, so it might be worth letting a professional company do this for you. Some companies actually offer humane rat removal so homeowners should really prioritize companies that offer this sort of service. That should ensure that the pests are removed safely, getting them out of your home. Once that is done, it’s worth replacing your attic insulation.
Wet or Dampness
If you notice that any of your insulation has become moist, damp, or wet from either a leak in the roof or broken pipes, it will need to be replaced. When it becomes wet, it can form biological growth and also release mycotoxins into the air, destroying your indoor air quality. Once any moisture has come in contact with your insulation, it becomes ineffective, so there is no reason to try to salvage it. When you do get new insulation installed, consider other reasons as to why you were experiencing dampness in the first place, as this may be because of a link in the roof. If this is the case, it’s best for you to consider a roof repair or replacement too in the process by a company like Prime Roofing. This way you will ensure you don’t have to have a repeat of this situation in the future.
Drafts or Cold Spots
Especially in the attic, poor or damaged insulation can allow drafts to enter your home. This occurs when the material does not create enough blockage between the outside air and the indoor atmosphere. If you notice drafts in the house and have checked your doors and windows, the likely culprit could be damaged insulation.
What Types Are Available?
When it’s time to replace your insulation, you have a few options to choose from depending on cost, how long you would like it to last, and how you would like it installed.
- fiberglass Insulation – This is the most common type, and comes in batts or fills. It is relatively inexpensive, easy to install, non-flammable, and moisture resistant, though it can break down and become damaged easily by pests.
- Cellulose Insulation – This type of insulation is wood and paper loose fill that is blown into the open space. One of the benefits of cellulose is that it is easy to fill it in when more is needed, but it does absorb moisture.
- Spray Foam Insulation – Spray foam is both water and pest resistant and has the benefit of being able to be easily installed around any shapes and still fit tightly. The drawbacks of spray foam are that it can be more costly and requires professional installation.
Find out if your attic insulation needs an upgrade by contacting Willard Heating and Air Conditioning at (972) 564-9785 today to schedule your inspection and determine your best options.
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