Best Options for Insulation Installation in Your Area

The North American Insulation Manufacturers Association estimates that well over half the homes in the United States are not insulated well enough. Having proper insulation can save you a lot of money on heating and cooling bills. The amount you need will depend on where you live, colder climates need more and milder climates need less insulation. Some very hot climates will need more for cooling. You can determine how much you have easily enough by going to your attic and measuring the insulation. It is a good idea to also know how much you have inside your walls. This is a project you could do yourself, or you could have it done by a professional. Here are some questions to ask both yourself, and potential installers you might hire to do the work.

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How qualified is this insulation expert?

Ask for licenses and for references. Check the references. If there is any hesitation from the contractor in this area, that should be a red flag and you probably should not hire them.

How much Insulation do I need?

Most homes in the south need 13-14 inches of insulation and most homes in the northern areas need 16-18 inches in the attic. There are charts available that give more specific details.

Could I handle the insulation installation myself?

Your level of comfort and skill to do basic work like this is a major consideration. Some material types are easier to install than others. Open areas like attics are fairly easy, but if you want to put insulation in walls, you might need help.

What is the specific plan for this insulation install?

Determine up front who will get any needed permits. Often the contractor does this. Get a written proposal or estimate of the scope of the work and the projected cost. Where the insulation will be installed and what type will be used are also questions to ask, and things to agree on before work begins.

Which parts of my home require insulation?

Most people think of the attic and perhaps the walls, and these are important. Floors, crawl spaces, and basements should also be insulated properly. There are different types of insulation for different areas, so it is a good idea to be familiar with the basic types and where they go.

What is the advantage of spray foam?

Spray foam, or sprayed insulation, creates a barrier in your home that will keep hot or cold air out, and keep warm or cool air inside. The foam will fill tiny cracks around windows and other places that could have air leaks. This can be done around windows and other hard to reach places.

What are some things to look for as the work progresses?

Watch the work and make sure the insulation is not just crammed into the walls. It should not be compressed. Make sure insulation is also around pipes and junction boxes. Make sure vents are not obstructed and make sure access points are not covered by the insulation.

What is a vapor barrier?

This is a barrier that is made of plastic and is used to keep moisture out. It is essentially a wrapping around your home. When combined with insulation, a vapor barrier can protect your walls, ceiling and floor from moisture penetration.

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