Insulation may not be a topic you think of often, or even the first place you look when you feel your energy bills are too high. Although your insulation is hidden out of sight, it plays a significant part in the overall comfort and energy efficiency of your home. Evaluating your home’s insulation to determine whether it is sufficient is an important step along the road toward greater energy efficiency and lower bills all year long. If you suspect your home’s insulation may be inadequate, a professional energy audit can help you determine where and how adding insulation could offer long-term benefits.
Ice on Your Roof
During the winter, insulation keeps the interior of your home warmer by preventing heated air from leaking outside. If your attic does not have sufficient insulation, some of the heated air can leak up through your roof, warming the materials that comprise your roofing above the temperature of the outside air. This heating effect can cause the bottom layer of any snow coating the roofing to melt and run down the edges of your roof, where it encounters colder air and refreezes, forming ice dams and icicles. Ice dams and icicles represent not only lost heat (and thus, lost money), but are a major cause of roof leaks and gutter damage as well.
Poor Indoor Air Quality
Insulation also helps to seal your home against airborne pollutants by blocking openings through which air—and airborne particles—can enter your home from the outdoors. If the quality of the air inside your home is low, you may notice floating dust or excessive dust on the surfaces of furnishings and other household items. Family members who have allergies may suffer from an increase in discomfort or symptoms, as airborne allergens can easily enter your home through poorly-insulated or unsealed areas. Although the first step to correct poor indoor air quality should be an evaluation of your HVAC system, it’s important to keep in mind that if HVAC repairs or maintenance don’t improve the problem, the next step should be inspecting your insulation to determine whether it could be lacking.
High Energy Bills
High energy bills are a direct result of running your heating or cooling system more often. When your home is poorly insulated, your HVAC system must run more frequently to replace heat or cold lost to the outside through poorly- or non-insulated areas. Even just a few small air leaks or areas of inadequate insulation can add up into a much higher energy bill than you expect. If your HVAC system is not performing with the efficiency you expect or you feel consistently too hot or too cold despite running the air conditioning or furnace, it’s time to take a look at your insulation. An experienced energy inspector can evaluate your home and easily determine whether improved insulation, weatherproofing, or other measures are needed to reduce the load on your HVAC system and lower your energy bills.
Are you concerned about the quality and quantity of insulation in your NY home? Click through our website to check out our comprehensive home insulation solutions, including home energy auditing, spray foam insulation, and green insulation options. If you have more questions, take a look at our FAQ page to learn more about the importance of adequately insulating your home.