It is difficult to keep the temperature comfortable if you are living in an old house with inadequate insulation. In the winter, the heat from an old house can escape to the outside and the cold air may creep inside. The reverse happens during summer. Old houses usually need to be insulated (or re-insulated)so that they are comfortable to live in.
The following tips can help you as you add insulation to your home:
- Check your current insulation – You can determine if you have insulation in your house by looking for the presence of loose fill between ceiling joists or looking for a series of patched holes on your exterior walls. If they are not present, you can probably conclude that there is no insulation in your house.
- Remove old insulation – Even if there is insulation in your home, it may well be inadequate. Old houses used odd materials for insulation, such as wood shavings and old newspapers. In a worst-case scenario, you may even find asbestos in your home. Old insulation should be completely removed before adding new materials. Where old homes are concerned, it is usually best to call a professional to remove aged insulation.
- Pick the proper type of insulation – Different types of insulation may be used in homes. The most common and practical material to retrofit old houses with is loose fill because it is able to reach places that may be difficult for other insulation types. Loose fill, treated with borate as fire retardant, is often ideal for an old house.
- Know your quantity – The amount of insulation needed for an old house will be based on the insulation’s R-value, depending on where a home is located. A house located in colder regions, for example, will require insulation with a higher R-value.
- Install in the right places – Most homes lose the bulk of their heat through the roof. Warm air tends to rise and cold air tends to fall, so the first place that needs insulation will be the attic. The walls, as well as the floor, need to be insulated, too.
- Limit moisture problems – The most pressing problem in insulating an old house is dealing with moisture. High moisture levels will cause mold to grow,wood to rot, and paint to peel. The insulation material should have a vapor barrier that must be installed facing the living spaces of the house.
- Consider green insulation – When retrofitting your old house with new insulation, you can choose from several green materials. A good example of green material is blown-in cellulose, manufactured using recycled newspaper and made fire and insect-resistant with borate.
It can be a sizeable investment to install new insulation, but it will pay dividends down the line when your home is energy-efficient and comfortable.