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Attic Insulation

How to Fix Heat Loss in Homes

With the cooler months’ onset, mitigating heat loss in homes becomes important to keeping energy costs low. The connection between the right insulation and keeping the warm air in is a specialty of SoDak Insulation. Reach out to SoDak Insulation for an inspection or estimate today.

The source of heat loss in the home is typically not limited to one particular escape area. Throughout the house, several places may be problem areas in your home and there may be multiple reasons why the loss is occurring. Discovering the trouble spots and being proactive in treating the issues will raise your energy efficiency and save money.

Where is the Most Heat Loss in Homes?

If you think of your home as a structure similar to the human body, it may be easier to envision where heat loss occurs. We lose heat through areas of our bodies that are the ends of our bodies, such as fingers, toes, and the top of the head.

Keeping our core warm is integral to keeping the rest of the body working right. To accomplish this, we often have to help our own heating system work better by adding “insulation” like warm socks and shoes, gloves, and hats.

Your home functions in much the same way as the human body does in cold weather. Several areas of the home are more easily exposed to cold air and may need that extra padding to prevent heat from escaping. Identifying where heat loss is happening in the walls, windows, and doors will help take steps to reduce heat loss.

home with a scarf and hat to prevent heat loss in homes

Take It From The Top

Your attic should be the first place to build up that important thermal resistance in keeping cold air out and warm air inside the home. As heat rises, the attic and roof spaces are the number one source of heat loss — just like your head on your body.

Poor ventilation and insulation are the two main avenues to your attic and roof becoming a major source of heat loss in your home. Looking for things like ice dams in the eaves will help you determine how your ventilation is working. 

How much and the type of insulation installed in the attic plays a major role in energy efficiency and preventing heat loss in homes. Adding additional insulation may be the easiest fix for controlling heat loss. 

Being able to tell if you need to add insulation or replace it in your attic is pretty easy: here are some great tips on doing a couple of quick checks without fuss. 

cold man with warm clothing at the window of his home trying to prevent heat loss

The Eyes of the Home

Windows and doors often are the clear culprits in allowing heat to escape your home. As they can be opened and shut, doors and windows allow unwanted cold air to enter your home every time they are opened. This can suck the warm air right out of your home.

There is some great news regarding how to deal with these problem areas in your home. Most issues with doors and windows can be solved by reapplying updated caulking and weatherstripping, which can be done as DIY projects to help save on costs. 

Sometimes if these measures do not mitigate the heat loss, you may need to replace your windows with double or triple glazed windows. Doors also may need to be updated if there are cracks in them that allow heat loss. 

The Fingers and Skin

Walls, windows, and doors combined account for 60% of heat loss in homes. Walls act as the skin in your home. When you are outside on a brisk December day, bundled up in your warm jacket, hat, and mittens, your face will often be icy to the touch of your warm hands. The skin acts as a conductor for the heat inside trying to escape. 

Proper insulation for walls will help act as a covering like socks are for feet. While the exterior walls of your home are battered by frigid cold air, the insulation between these walls and your interior walls is what will prevent the cold from winning that battle. 

Start with making sure caulking and weatherstripping are up to date around the windows and doors. Also, check your electrical outlets to make sure there aren’t drafts coming through them. Make sure to check your heating system itself. It may need to be serviced, flushed, or updated.

In older homes, where insulation has had a chance to wear down or wasn’t installed well or with the right materials, to begin with, this can be a major problem. 

If the walls still appear to be allowing the cold air to pour in, it may be time to call a professional. While replacing wall insulation in your home may be a costly endeavor, having your home’s skin properly insulated will end up saving you loads of money in the long run. 

cold woman using a heater at home because poor insulation

The Toes and Feet

When your feet hit the floors on those freezing winter mornings, you may find yourself wondering if heat rises, why isn’t it hitting your floors from your basements. Most basements and floors lack the “socks and shoes” of insulation like the walls and attics have.

While it’s not common to install insulation in floors and basements, it’s not unheard of either and may end up saving you money in the long run. Increasing your energy efficiency, your heat keeping ability, and the warmth of your home by adding insulation in the floors can help bump up value and make your winter nights a bit warmer.

Ensure Your Thermal Resistance

Reducing heat loss in homes by evaluating how heat is escaping in trouble spots and implementing an action plan to deal with it will be a great cost saver for you in the long run. It also stands to reason that if your insulation is up to date and working great, your cooling costs in the warm summers will be kept down as well.

If you have identified any problem areas in your home, contact SoDak Insulation for a free professional inspection report and estimate today.

Categories
Attic Insulation

6 Signs It’s Time To Find Home Insulation Services Near You

Perhaps you’ve noticed a draft coming from various places throughout your home. Maybe your home heating bill has skyrocketed. If these or other red flags have alerted you to something not quite right, it may be time for you to search out home insulation services in your area. 

SoDak Insulation is ready to take your request for an inspection or estimate today. Call us and we’ll help you ensure your home is well insulated.

high energy bills indicate the need for home insulation services

1. Skyrocketing Energy Bills 

Most energy companies offer the ability for you to view this year’s energy bill compared side-by-side with the same time last year for your home. This comparison is always a great way to analyze a possible issue. If you notice month after month that your energy costs continue to climb, there is a definite cause for concern.

While insulation is not the only reason your energy bill could become unmanageable, it is one of the biggest telltale signs that insulation may be a culprit. Over time, insulation can settle or may not have been installed well when originally put in. 

Depending on your home’s age and the type of insulation used, poor insulation causes warm air to escape in winter and cool air to escape in the summer months. The escaping air causes your heating and cooling systems to work more often, which in turn uses more energy. 

Paying attention to a pattern related to your energy bills, including spikes at times of extreme temperature shifts like winter and summer, can tip you off that your insulation may need to be inspected.

2. Cold, Damp Walls in Winter

After you’ve received a much higher than normal bill and started questioning what it could mean, there is a simple test to try and determine further if insulation could be the culprit. Go to an interior wall of your home and put your hand to the wall. Is it warm and dry? 

If your walls inside feel damp and cold in a nice and cozy room, you’ve just detected another warning sign that you may need to find home insulation services. Your outside walls should feel the opposite — cool to the touch — as it shows that your insulation is doing its job.

3. Changing Temperatures From Room to Room

If you have to have different layers of clothes for other rooms in your home, you might have a problem with your home insulation. If you’re wearing a sweatshirt in your living room but shorts in your bedroom, further investigation may be needed in a temperature-controlled house.

The heating and cooling systems in today’s homes offer comfortable temperatures that should be even from room to room in the house, keeping your home running as energy-efficiently as possible. Poor insulation can make a room much colder in the winter compared to other rooms, as the heat has an outlet that it wouldn’t have with proper insulation, especially if fiberglass batts were used.

signs of squirrels in the attic insulation

4. Signs of Unwelcome Critters

Walking into a room and noticing mice dropping in the corner is one of the awful feelings a homeowner could have. Insects in the home where there were none before can induce the same sense of yuck. 

There is a good chance that the influx of signs of critters is an indication that there are openings in your home where there shouldn’t be. Small cracks and aberrations in the walls, foundation, and around doors or windows are letting these unwelcome guests in and letting your welcome warm air escape.

While this lack of air sealing may not be a cause for poor insulation throughout the home, it may be a sign that some additional spray foam insulation may be warranted. An inspection by a professional in insulation solutions company can help determine if this is the case. 

5. Icy Ice Dams

Pretty to look at, maybe, but icicles hanging from your eaves are an unhealthy sign of bad insulation in your home. 

Ice dams are created through a vicious cycle resulting from too much warmth being allowed to escape from the roof of your home that melts away layers of snow and ice on the roof. This melted water meets the cold air again and becomes ice when it hits your gutters, causing dangerous ice formations. 

Not only can these ice dams cause damage to your home on their own, but they also act as another warning that you may have to take a trip up to your attic to do a final evaluation. 

cold young woman in a home with poor insulation

6. Heads Up: Take It to the Attic

As you are journeying around your home, you realize that several of these warning signs are in full effect. Your final stop should be your attic. The top section of your home offers many different clues to the health of your insulation.

When you enter your attic space, you may have an immediate indicator that you need to reach out to home insulation services. As the attic space is not commonly occupied, it’s fairly common that you can see the insulation in the area when you arrive there. Sometimes just taking a look at the attic insulation can tell you all you know about its health. 

If water is present, you have trouble. Moisture and leaks may occur in your attic space because of a couple of different reasons. 

Condensation build-up occurs as the attic space is becoming too warm, and the heat isn’t being distributed properly throughout the home. If there are openings in the roof, and water is leaking in from outside, that also points to the need for insulation. 

Not only can uncontrolled moisture in your space get costly regarding things like insulation, but it also allows for the silent killer mold to grow freely. Paying close attention to any amount of moisture in your attic could help save you more costly repairs in the future — and help protect your health!

Contact Home Insulation Services Near You Today

Making your home more comfortable by addressing any issues and ensuring your current insulation is properly insulating is important to keeping your house a home. Utilizing professional insulation installers can be the best step you can take to make this happen. 

SoDak Insulation is happy to provide a free estimate and inspection report. Reach out today to find out how we can help keep your home warm!