The cold Michigan wind is blowing and people are heading inside to keep warm, but are you keeping warm enough? Wintertime is a perfect time to determine problems with your house’s insulation and fix it. With temperatures and precipitation quickly dropping, you may be seeing some insulation issues and not even know it!
Do you see that the snow may be melted on your rooftop, but your neighbor’s house has snow piled on their rooftop? Melting snow is one indicator of insulation problems. The melting is caused by heat escaping through the roof. It’s like your home is bleeding heat and you are not alone. It’s estimated that nearly 98 million homes are under-insulated in the US.
Why Are Houses in the U.S. Under Insulated?
The housing code standards here require a specific amount of insulation to be installed. To exceed that minimum costs more money, so most builders will save money and opt out of putting in enough insulation to minimize energy bills and provide additional warmth. Unfortunately, fixing the insulation generally falls on the shoulders of the homeowner. You may ask why put in more insulation? It is said that 29% of a household’s utility bill goes toward heating it. Without proper insulation, a homeowner can anticipate spending about 20% more to heat their home. That could add up to a big expense each month! You can save money if you have proper insulation. Here’s what to look for this winter to determine that your home needs more insulation:
Melting Snow on the Roof
As mentioned, snow melting on a roof during cold weather (32 degrees and below) can indicate improper insulation. The snow melting in certain areas on a roof is a tell-tale sign that heat is escaping because of poor insulation or roofing system. Ideally, if it is cooler than 32 and has been snowing, your roof should have snow on it too. Snow on a rooftop equals a healthy roof and insulation! If this is not your case, please contact a professional roofing and insulation company to inspect your house.
High Energy Bills
When your furnace is working hard to keep heat in a poorly insulated house, your heating bill will be higher. Look at your utility bills from the past few years. If you notice that your heating bill seems to be higher now than in the past, than it can be an indication that your house’s insulation is inadequate. Often we find that, if the insulation was blown into the attic, it has possibly settled and shifted into inefficient areas. At any rate, you should call a professional to determine if there is an insulation problem and get it corrected.
Uneven Temps Between Rooms
Have you walked from one room of your house into another and noticed a big difference in temperature? For example, if you notice that your living room inexplicably warmer than your kitchen, it can indicate a problem with a house’s insulation. If both rooms are well ventilated, and the temperature noticeably varies, then chances are the insulation needs to be improved. A lack of insulation means heat is escaping from the room. Contact a professional for an inspection to determine whether it is an insulation problem.
Mice in Your House
People do not want to find rodents in their houses. It is frightening to see a mouse scurry across your kitchen floor. You need to view mice in your house as an indicator of poor insulation. Why? The answer is simple: if the critters can find a way inside a house through pathways of cracks and crevices, heat can find a way to leak out of the house using the same path. Adding insulation into these tiny holes can assist in keeping mice out! It will also keep the heat in your home. That is a win-win solution for every homeowner – the vermin stay out and the heat stays in your house!
Ice Dams forming on the Roof
What is an ice dam and how does it indicate a deficiency in house insulation? When the bottom layer of snow and ice melt from your roof due to heat escaping because of a poorly insulated roof, it creates streams of water. The water runs down to the gutter and freezes as it hits the cold air. You will soon see mounds of large icicles forming on the edge of a roofline. These massive ice forms are destructive to the gutters and roof. It can also be hazardous to anyone venturing below should the ice dam break and fall. The bottom line here is if there are ice dams on your roofline, lack of insulation is probably the culprit. You need to contact a roofing and insulation professional immediately. It could increase the longevity of your roof.
Can I Get Insulation Installed in the Cold Weather?
You may wonder if you can have a contractor install insulation during the cold Michigan winter. The short answer is “Yes!” You will notice the benefits of having the insulation installed during winter quicker than during other seasons. The issues you were once experiencing with drafts, uneven temperatures between rooms, high heating bills, and melting snow on the roof will disappear immediately! You will also notice a nice difference in your utility bill. Then, you can kick back in your recliner and enjoy your comfortable home.
The Bottom Line
If you experience any of the signs that you need insulation installed in your home, do not hesitate to contact professionals to come to your home and perform an inspection. We will take the steps need to keep you and your family warm and dry this winter. Remember, we will always steer you in the right direction!