Insulation is critical for maintaining a comfortable temperature in your home and also for saving money on heating and air conditioning. If your home is under-insulated, you could be wasting hundreds of dollars every year on heating and cooling bills. There are many things you can do to tell if your home lacks insulation. If your home does lack insulation, working with a contractor can improve your home’s insulation and help make your home more energy-efficient. Here’s what you need to know.
How Insulation Works
Insulation works by slowing heat flow from one part of the house to another, or by slowing heat flow from an outside part of the house to an inside part. Insulation can be made up of many materials including expandable foam, fiberglass, or natural materials like wool or denim.
Insulation can even take the form of gas found between panes of windows, which stops the flow of heat from one side of the glass to the other. Insulation can be found in the attic, in your walls, around your pipes, in your floors, in the ceiling, and even on your garage door.
…or, it might not. Older homes often lack insulation for a variety of reasons. Years ago, homes were not expected to be as well insulated as they are today, and building codes were dramatically different. This is why many older homes are chilly in winter, with drafts flowing around windows and doors. This is also why some older homes can be very stuffy in summer.
Signs That Your Home Needs It
There are many signs that your home needs more insulation. Some common signs that your home is under-insulated include:
- Your home is unevenly heated in winter or cooled in summer. If you’ve noticed that some parts of your house are warmer or cooler than others at certain times of the year, this is an indication that your home needs more insulation.
- You feel a draft by windows and doors. You may even notice actual air blowing around doors and windows, especially at times of year when it’s very chilly outside.
- Your pipes will freeze in winter if you don’t maintain a temperature of at least 55 degrees in the house. This is an indication that the walls where the pipes are located are reaching freezing temperatures on the coldest nights of the year.
- You can see the joists in your attic. Ideally, the insulation will cover the joists in your attic. If you can see the joists through the insulation, this is a sign that your attic is under-insulated.
- You run the air conditioner and the heater endlessly, but your home is never comfortable. If you find it’s very difficult to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home in the winter or summer, this is another sign that your home needs more insulation. Insulation can help keep climate-controlled air inside, which leads to less energy loss throughout the year.
- Your utility bills are rising. This could be a sign that your home is never comfortable enough, and you’re relying more on your air conditioner and heater to keep you comfortable at times of the year when temperatures are extreme.
- Your home is older. Most older homes just don’t have proper insulation, unless the insulation was installed at a later date after the home was built. If you check with a contractor, your contractor should be able to evaluate the status of your home’s insulation and make a recommendation for repair.
Reasons to Insulate Your Home
There are many reasons to insulate your home in Maryland! Below are just a few examples of the reasons why homeowners in Maryland choose to evaluate and improve insulation in their homes.
- Reduce your home’s energy bill. The US EPA reports that you can save 15% on heating and cooling costs by properly insulating your home.
- Improve quality of life. Your home will be more comfortable if you insulate, and you’ll be happier at times of year when the temperatures outside are extreme.
- Increase your home’s value. Insulation can make your home more attractive to home buyers.
How Much Does Installation Cost in Maryland?
It varies based on how much insulation needs to be installed and what the contractor is installing it. In general, you can expect to pay a few hundred dollars for an energy evaluation and between $3,000 and $4,000 to install insulation. If you’re on a budget, there are many things you can do to save money on your insulation installation including:
- Use the BPI (Building Performance Institute) contractors. These contractors know building science and make recommendations based on health, safety, and performance
- Research rebates. Most utilities have a rebate program in place that you can use to get money back for the work.
- Shop around. Meet with several contractors before deciding which contractor is right for you.
- Plan in advance. Last-minute home improvement jobs often cost more because there isn’t enough time to shop around for cost-effective materials.
- Prioritize. You may not need to install insulation in every corner of your home in order to dramatically improve your home’s energy performance. Talk to a contractor to find out what you can do to make your home more energy-efficient on a budget.
Contact Home Energy Hero
Home Energy Hero can help homeowners like you make your home more energy-efficient. We start by assessing your home’s energy performance and creating a comprehensive plan to improve your energy usage. We work with a variety of different types of insulation in homes, from fiberglass batts to spray foam. We’ll help you decide which type is best for your home, and what areas of your home need it the most.
We’ll also give you advice to help you decide what else can be done to make your home more energy-efficient. Our duct sealing, air sealing, and insulation services can help you enjoy a more comfortable life at home. Contact us today to make your appointment and get started installing insulation.