Different kinds of homes can benefit more from having insulation in place than others. For example, homes built out of brick can lose more thermal energy than those built with wood-based materials, which will naturally hold on to more energy. Without proper insulation in place, a brick built house will lose a quarter of the heat or cool air through the roof. Additionally, up to one third of the conditioned air can be lost through the surface of the walls. This makes a brick home much harder to keep cool in the summer months.
Not all kinds of insulation are made the same and work the same once placed in the home. Different types of insulation are assigned R values by the Department of Energy to show how effective they are when installed correctly by a professional. The higher the R rating, the better the insulation works. Newer forms of insulation made with more modern materials typically have higher R ratings. R ratings are assigned as numbers and can range from 3.75 to 6.25, and homes in different areas of the country should use appropriately rated insulation to ensure success.
Insulation helps to preserve and improve the quality of indoor air, which can be 70 percent more polluted than outdoor air. With allergens, dust, crumbs, germs and pet dander getting recirculated through the HVAC system, the quality of the air in the home can become very low if there is no filtration in the HVAC system. Most families spend up to 90 percent of their time indoors, so the majority of the air they breathe on a daily basis is inside the home, school or office. With insulation and filtration in place, the air quality can be isolated and improved.
Older homes are very likely to lack insulation or have inadequate insulation placed in them. The US Department of Energy estimates that up to eighty percent of all homes built before 1980 do not have enough insulation in place or any insulation at all. This can be especially true of homes built in warm climates like ours during the times when builders did not understand the full importance of energy efficiency. Many home and office builders during this time were not concerned with making a home eco-friendly and may have neglected to place proper insulation in a South Florida home. Placing insulation in certain parts of the house, like the attic, walls, and floor can increase the home’s efficiency and benefit the homeowner in multiple ways.
Amateur attempts to install insulation can result in an itching feeling for the installer. Particles of fiberglass that break away from the insulation roll surface can land on uncovered skin and hair and cause a terrible itch to break out. This is part of the reason why installers wear protective gear and take other precautions to avoid getting particles on them.
Thermal stability is not the only reason to insulate a home. Insulation can also make the inside of a home quieter and block out loud noises from coming into the home. With insulation in place, loud sounds like nearby traffic or train tracks can be blocked from coming into the house.
Insulating your plumbing can prevent issues with the pipes and resulting troubles, like dripping water and mold growth. Pipes can sweat, resulting in condensation on the surface of the pipes and water pooling on the floor. This water can lead to mold growth on any surface it touches. Foam insulation can be placed snugly around the surface of the pipes to help stop the sweating. Insulation can also prevent pipes freezing during unexpected cold snaps.
Some of the less conventional materials used over time and across different nations as insulation include plant fibers, sheep’s wool, recycled cotton, soil, cork, and straw. These materials can be sufficient to improve the temperature and sound levels of a structure.
Insulation can stop mildew and mold growth inside the home, as water will seek areas where the insulation is worn out and seep into those areas to allow mold to grow. If you see mold growth on the wall surface in an insulated home, it can be a sign that the insulation has worn down in that area and needed replacement.