If your house feels like Siberia during winter or Death Valley during summer, it is time to check the insulation in your house. Your home may have insufficient insulation or lack it altogether. Heat has the natural tendency to move from a warmer to a colder space. During winter, the warmth of your house will escape toward the outside, and the cold air outside will seep in. The opposite will happen during summer. In both instances, your house will be uncomfortable and your energy bill will likely be very high.
Most of the houses built before 1948 used no insulation. If your home does not have insulation, plan to invest in some. If your home is over 20 years old, it may have insulation that is no longer adequate. Insulation materials can deteriorate over time. If it’s hard to maintain an optimal temperature in your home, you may need to add more or replace the current insulation altogether.
Added insulation may be just the thing to make your old home energy efficient. The amount of insulation will depend on the climate you live in. Homes in areas with colder winter will require insulation with R-60 ratings. For homes in areas with moderate winters, R-30 to R-38 insulation will suffice. Adding insulation with an unnecessarily high R-value will be a waste of money and resources.
Some people use radiant barriers, which keep heat from entering or leaving a home. Radiant barriers are expensive as they are made of reflective materials. While radiant barriers can prevent the entry of heat through the roof, they may not be necessary as long as you have thermal insulation that will slow the passage of hot air into the living spaces of the house.
People may also think that adding thicker or more layers of insulation, ventilation, spray-on radiant barrier, or paint could help a home. Sometimes, though, this can lead to overkill. If you add different types of insulation to perform the same function, you run the risk of paying for redundancy.
Your best option is to consult insulation experts, and let them help you decide on the best insulation for your home.