Do you constantly adjust the thermostat? If you do, you’re causing your HVAC system to work harder than it should. Too much fluctuation in your indoor temperature can also result in high utility bills.
Living in the Midwest means high humidity levels, sweltering heat, and sometimes, bone-chilling cold. Keeping your home at the right temperature year-round can be tricky, especially if you’re on a budget.
We can help!
Insulating your home is one of the best ways to improve energy efficiency and save money on your bills. Read on to find out how insulation works and why it’s something you should consider.
How Well Insulated Is Your Home?
It might shock you to know that 9 out of 10 homes in the U.S. are under-insulated. How do you know if your home could use a little extra padding?
It would help if you started with a touch test.
Put your hand against the walls and ceilings. Do they feel warm and dry or cold and damp?
In the middle of a Midwest winter, your home should shield you from the cold weather. If the interior walls don’t feel warm to the touch, it’s usually due to insufficient insulation. Likewise, during summer weather, the walls and ceilings should feel cool and dry.
Watch for these additional signs that you’re living in an under-insulated home:
- Inconsistent indoor temperatures
- Cold drafts
- Frozen pipes and ice dams
- Mice and other pests
- Increase in heating and cooling costs
Also, keep an eye on your HVAC system. If it never seems to warm or cool your home to a comfortable temperature, it typically means you have conditioned air or heat escaping through the attic or gaps in windows and doorframes.
How Insulation Works
Insulation should block heat from entering your home during summer weather if installed correctly. In cold weather, insulation helps your home hold heat inside.
During the summer, the sun beats down on your house for several hours each day. The heat coming through the roof and walls can cause the temperature in the attic or the highest level of your home to rise.
Your attic temperature may rise as high as 170 degrees.
If you don’t have enough insulation, you can run the air conditioner all day, and it won’t get cool enough. That’s because heat enters your house at roughly the same rate your AC can cool it.
Installing insulation in the walls and attic should reduce the heat load and block heat from entering your home.
In the winter, insulation retains heat. If you run your furnace continuously but never feel warm enough, you have a similar situation to the one you deal with during the summer. Heat escapes from your house as fast as the furnace can produce it.
Insulating your home should help your heating and cooling system work more efficiently regardless of the season.
Where Is Insulation Installed?
Here, in the Midwest, residents enjoy the best of both worlds. Hot summers offer plenty of swimming, boating, and BBQs. Cold weather brings bonfires, snow for sledding, and frozen lakes and ponds for ice fishing.
If installed on the attic floor, attic insulation ensures you come home to a comfortable home, whether you’ve spent the day at the swimming hole or the outdoor skating rink.
Why the attic floor?
The attic floor sits above the ceiling. You want to heat or cool the area below the ceiling.
Heat rises, and without insulation on the attic floor, heat will rise into the attic, where it’s lost through your attic’s ventilation.
Insulation installed in the wall traps cold air inside your home during the summer. It prevents your home from overheating by keeping the hot air outside.
Solid wall insulation vs. a standard wall cavity prevents twice as much heat from entering your house.
Will Insulating Your Home Help Control Humidity?
Residents of St. Louis, MO, enjoy humid summers due to air from the Gulf of Mexico. It’s essential to maintain safe and healthy humidity levels in your home.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, indoor humidity should fall between 30% and 50%.
High humidity levels encourage the growth of mold and bacteria. Excessive humidity also attracts insects and other pests. Low humidity can cause dry skin, itchy eyes, and nose and throat irritation.
Insulation not only helps keep temperatures consistent and comfortable, but it also helps prevent high humidity in your home.
Wall, ceiling, and attic insulation act as a vapor barrier. It prevents moisture from seeping into surfaces inside your home. Insulating your home is one step you can take if you discover mold development.
What Type of Insulation Should I Buy?
Insulation for residential use comes in several different forms. Here are the most common:
- Blanket batts and rolls
The first three types of insulation listed here can contain fiberglass, cellulose, or rock wool.
Spray foam insulation contains liquid polyurethane. It’s sprayed into the wall cavities, where it expands and then hardens into a solid foam.
Spray foam does an excellent job sealing leaks and gaps within existing walls. Your home will feel more comfortable, and you’ll save money on your energy bills. Foam insulation doesn’t sag or settle, and it fills every part of the area where you have it installed.
Ready to Insulate Your Home?
Is your home ready for the fluctuating weather here in the Midwest? Insulating your home will help keep indoor temperatures comfortable year-round. Insulation also helps maintain ideal humidity levels.
Whether you need to upgrade insulation in an existing home or you want to install insulation in a new home under construction, insulation is a vital component of any property.
Anton’s Plumbing, Heating/Cooling and Energy Experts has served the St. Louis area for almost 40 years. We offer all HVAC services, including insulation. Contact us today to schedule service.