According to the experts at energystar.gov, 90% of homes in America are underinsulated. What does this mean for you? If you are like most homeowners, it means you are losing energy. As you read this, your home is allowing costly heat or air to escape through attics, drafty exterior walls and from around drains, pipes, and electrical outlets. This energy loss is costing you money.
North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA) states that — with proper insulation, homeowners could save as much as 5% in electricity and 10% cost savings on natural gas if insulation was adequate. Additionally, a study by Harvard found it to be better for the environment when homes are properly insulated as it decreases carbon emissions. The same study cited several potential health benefits, like decreased asthma attacks and fewer premature deaths.
“The magnitude of the economic and public health benefits indicates that creative public policies to encourage retrofits … may be warranted.”
The first and easiest place to check is any exterior walls, such as those in a garage or basement. Insulation batting is generally used in these areas. Make note of the condition of the batting, the brand, and rating. Look for gaps and tears. Feel for drafts.
The next area to check is around pipes, vents, fireplace, drains, and electrical outlets. These are areas that are often overlooked, however, can be a significant source of energy loss.
Your attic is the final area to observe. Typically, the type of insulation used is a blown type that may settle over time. Using a stiff ruler, measure the depth of the insulation and make note of that. Look around for any areas that might have become wet, or thin due to animal activity.
The R-value or resistance value is the capacity of the insulation material to resist heat flow. A higher R-value indicates greater insulating power. To determine your current R-Values measure the depth of the insulation in inches and multiply that number according to the type of insulation. See below.
Recommended R-values vary by climate and other factors and can be found here.
If you have found that you need insulation added or if you are concerned that you might, contact our insulation professionals at Metro Garage Doors to inspect your insulation and evaluate your needs.