How Do You Tell If Your House is Well Insulated?

A Technician Installs Insulation.

How do you tell if your house is well insulated?

If your home isn’t well insulated, no matter how finely tuned your HVAC system is, your home won’t stay properly heated in the winter or cool in the summer. New insulation installation may be required, otherwise energy gets wasted and your energy bills begin to skyrocket. Increased energy bills, indeed, are one way to tell your home may not be well insulated.

Other signs you need more insulation include:

  • Uneven temperatures throughout your house: You may find you have colder rooms in one part of the house, while others are warmer.
  • You have cold walls, floors or ceilings: If you have enough insulation, your walls, ceilings and floors will feel warm and dry.
  • Drafts: In the winter you might find air is getting in or going out through under-insulated windows and doors.
  • Pests like mice and bugs are getting inside: If pests are getting inside, so are drafts, and they are often getting in through doors and windows that need extra insulation.
  • Leaks in the attic: Poor insulation will allow water to get inside the attic.
  • Pipes freezing: If you have poor insulation, when it drops below freezing, there’s a better chance your pipes will freeze.

If you are experiencing problems like these in your home, you may need more insulation. When you want reliable insulation installation in Redding, CA, get in touch with the professionals at Redding Heating & Air. Find out how we can help you by calling 530-223-1332.

What is the best insulation for a new home?

When insulating a new home, you’ll have many things to consider, including where to insulate and the recommended R-values for each area. R-value measures the insulation’s ability to resist conductive heat flow. The higher the R-value, the more effective the insulation. While less expensive insulation like batting have high R-values, you’ll have to install thicker layers that can cost more and be inconvenient or impractical. Climate will also affect the type of insulation you install, but in most areas you’ll want to put in both cavity insulation as well as insulated sheathing with R-values ranging from R-15 to R-21. You might also want to consider products like structural insulated panels that provide both structural support and insulation. In warmer climates you may want to consider roof radiant barriers, reflective insulation, and foundation insulation.

How should insulation be installed?

If you plan to install insulation yourself, you’ll probably use rolled paper-faced batting, which is best for floors and ceilings, as well as roofs with long joists or rafter ball or tall walls. Insulation installation is relatively easy. Below are some basic tips to install insulation.

Insulation installation tips

  • Begin by cutting the roll to fit the framing cavity’s length.
  • For walls you’ll fit the insulation into the cavity from the top or from one end for ceilings, floors or roofs. Do not force the insulation into the cavity. Instead, gently push it inside.
  • Fold the paper flange on one side of the cavity and staple it with staples space about a foot apart. Do the same for the other side.
  • Peel the insulation apart to make two layers to insulate behind pipes or wiring.

Can I put insulation over wiring?

When installing insulation around wiring, extra care has to be taken. You have to fill the space around the wires, but you cannot just shove the insulation against the wires. Otherwise you’ll have an uninsulated gap behind the wires. One option is to slit the insulation in the back to the depth and height of the wires, and then fit the wires into the slit when the insulation is installed. A second option is to separate the insulation’s layers and slide it under or over the wires, or put one layer over the wires and the other and one over it. 

Insulation installation in attic

Insulation installation will vary depending on whether the attic is finished or unfinished. When you’re insulating an unfinished attic, the objective is to seal the attic from the main living space. You’ll want to fill all of the area between and over the floor joists, including the attic hatch. In addition, you’ll insulate any duct work so heat loss and gain will be reduced.

If the attic is finished out as a living space, the insulation will be installed between the ceiling rafters and exterior wall studs. The floors can remain uninsulated. With a finished attic you can either remove the drywall or paneling covering ceilings and walls to install the insulation or you can drill holes between the studs and rafters to blow in insulation. You can also add insulation whenever you replace your roof. 

You may have to replace attic insulation that’s been damaged by a roof leak. If you have a roof leak or other roof damage, a roofing professional might be able to give you roof insurance claims assistance so you get full benefit of your claim.

Insulation installation in walls

If you have an older home, it’s possible the walls are not insulated, which can put a strain on your HVAC system. More often than not, however, you’ll have to remove the drywall if you plan  to install insulation in the walls, especially if the insulation is traditional roll insulation. You do have other options, including installing injection foam or loose-fill insulation. While you won’t have to remove all the drywall, you will have to open holes in the wall that will need to be patched later on. Some insulation like loose-fill insulation may settle over time, which causes hollow spaces.

How much does it cost to have insulation installed?

Costs will vary on insulation installation. Much will depend on the type of insulation you use. Blow-in insulation will cost around $500, for instance, if you do-it-yourself, and anywhere between $1,500 and $2,000 for a professional to tackle an average 1,500 square-foot home. Fiberglass batts are the most common insulation used and costs about $0.64 to $1.19 per square foot, so for 500 square feet you could spend up to $200 to do it yourself or as much as $500 to have a professional install it. You also have the option of installing spray foam insulation, which comes in two styles, either open cell or closed cell. Open-cell costs about $0.35 to $0.55 per board foot, while closed cell costs $1 to $2 per board foot.

house attic under construction mansard wall insulation with rock wool

Insulation installation near me

When you need new insulation in your home, you can rely on the professionals at Redding Heating & Air for expert insulation installation in Redding, CA. We offer a full range of HVAC services. Give us a call at 530-223-1332 to find out how we can help you.