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Does insulation matter?

Thursday, December 5, 2019   /   by Sara Koenig

Does insulation matter?

What to know about your home and insulation

Insulation is a simple concept. It keeps your home warm in the winter, and it also keeps your home cool in the summer.  This is an area of the home that often times gets over looked, and I see it time and time again during home inspections that insulation may not be doing the most efficient job possible.  Here are a couple of things to think about when it comes to this area of your home and keeping it the most efficient. 

Energy Efficiency
Did you know that the insulation of your home makes up about 40% of its energy efficiency? Certain issues can negatively affect how efficient your insulation is such as Gaps, holes and other areas where air escapes.  Insulation can also shift around when home owners are completing work, and it's important to fix this if you have been up in your attic to maintain the efficiency of your insulation.

Potential for mold issues
Insulation, including fiberglass and cellulose, can produce mold. Fiberglass itself doesn't encourage mold growth, but it can get dirty, and that dirt can be a breeding ground for spores. How well your insulation is sealed to prevent water infiltration will go a long way to preventing mold.  It is also important to note that proper ventilation needs to be tended to.  if bathroom vents don't extend outside the roof all of that moisture can stay trapped in your attic and that is not good.  

Your Attic
Homes without adequate insulation are at risk of losing a lot of heat through the attic, which can affect your overall home efficiency and can cost you more money to heat your home as a home owner.  It is always a good idea to have your home inspected when you purchase your home, but also if you have lived in your home for many years.  Critters can get up in there and move insulation around, or take it to make themselves a cozy home :)  Home inspections aren't too costly and can inform you about your home in so many ways!

Types of Insulation

There are a number of materials that are used for insulation, and as the years go by and technology changes, the types of products used for insulation are also always changing. Homes today are build much more efficient than in the years past.  Each different type of insulation has it's pros and cons of course, so it's important to do your research.

Some insulation materials are: 

    • Fiberglass.

    • Mineral wool.

    • Cellulose.

    • Polyurethane foam.

    • Polystyrene. 


When completing a project or having a new home built be sure to ask the questions of a professional so that you pick the correct insulation for your home and your project.  You will be happy you did when your heating and cooling costs are low and you have an efficiently running home! 

What is the R-Value?

This is the common rating system for insulation. Manufacturers will label their products by the R-value. This will represent the efficiency in minimizing heat flow/escape from your attic or home. The higher the number, the more insulative your material is.  While you can't change all of the insulation in your existing home, you can pay attention when doing home remodels and in new build homes it's an important conversation to have.  Just ask the questions and ask what the builder typically uses. 

Have more questions?  Give me a call!



Sara Koenig | Washigton Realtor



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