Moved Into An Old House? Check If It’s Under-Insulated
Sometimes the perfect house for you isn’t new, it’s new to you.
Older houses have more character. The landscaping is lush and fully developed. The lots are bigger. You’ll find grand fireplaces throughout the living space. Crown molding. Intricate details you’ll only find in a home built one at a time. No mass-produced, up in a couple of weeks, track housing for you.
Of course, an older house also comes a different set of problems. According to the National Association of Home Builders, half of all US homes were built before 1980. And with an aging home comes the need for a lot of updates and remodels.
While you may love your home because it was solidly built, not everything inside has remained the same as when it was installed. Materials degrade and building codes change. That means your home might not be in the best shape possible.
You can see if flooring wears out. You can feel if your furnace no longer works. But some things are a little more difficult to determine. A common problem in older homes is under-insulation … or a lack thereof.
For houses built before 1980, insulation wasn’t a top priority like it is today. Different products were used, and different building codes were in place. Energy costs also weren’t on everyone’s minds as they are today. Carbon footprints weren’t even a thing to consider.
But we know better today. If your home isn’t adequately insulated, it will take more energy to heat and cool your home. One room may be too warm while another is too cool. So your equipment works harder than it should trying to compensate for the differences.
The best way to combat that is to create a tighter envelope within your home. Insulation is an important part of that process.
How do you know if your home is under-insulated?
- Hot and cold spots exist throughout your home
- You feel drafts near doors or windows, in corners, or along floor boards or wallboards
- You have pest problems – birds or small rodents can get in through tiny gaps
Or simply take a look for yourself. Head up to the attic and check to see if the attic floor is filled with insulation. Notice its appearance. Head into crawlspaces or down in the basement. See how much is there. Unscrew outlets and peek into the walls. Is there insulation in there?
However, a word of caution. Depending on when your house was built, your home could have been insulated with asbestos insulation. Before the 1980s, it was considered superior because of its ability to resist heat and fire. It was durable and long lasting. It was only discovered later of its toxic qualities and its harmful nature to humans. Undisturbed, it’s okay. But you never want to move it without taking the necessary precautions.
We can help. Let’s start by performing an energy audit and determining what’s already in place. Then we can make recommendations for how to improve it, and make your home warmer, safer place to live. Give us a call today.