Half of all homes in the U.S. are currently under-insulated resulting in heat loss and higher than necessary energy costs. To help control the amount of energy your home is losing on a regular basis, it is best to make sure that you home’s insulation is to code and is in good condition.
This is a simple process allowing many homeowners to take care of this process themselves. As many homeowners may not wish to put small holes in the walls in order to see or are unable to accurately measure the amount of insulation present, a home inspector can be helpful; performing specific tests to ensure your home’s excellent health.
By making use of infrared technology, an inspector is able to perform a thermal insulation inspection scan, an air infiltration/heat loss scan, as well as other tests able to quickly and accurately report what is happening behind the scenes (in this case: the walls). Infrared technology has proven to be invaluable in saving time and costs typically required in identifying and correcting issues related to the issues of heat loss, energy efficiency, moisture intrusion and more.
A Quick Run Through
As mentioned above, a quick scan of your home’s current insulation levels can be done fairly easily.
The most popular step is to check behind the home’s electrical outlets. STOP: make sure to turn OFF your home’s electricity before you begin!
Once the electricity in your home has been turned off, remove the cover plate to an outlet and gently probe into the wall with a stick or screw driver. If there is some slight resistance, insulation is present.
Another option available is to create a small hole within a closet, behind a sofa, or another location that is not easily seen when entering a room, and to peer inside.
Of course, both options will tell you if insulation is present or not; however, both do not let you know if there are sufficient amounts of insulation or if all locations / walls are insulated. This is where a home inspector can be of help.
In addition to checking within the walls, it is important to check the attic and the basement / crawlspace. These areas of your home can create a large amount of energy loss if under-insulated.
A basement should have all walls insulated, at least the top of the foundation wall and first floor perimeter. Ideally, the insulation for this area should be an R-value of 19 or greater.
Within the attic, weather stripping should be present around the attic door, making sure that the door closes tightly and does not allow for any drafts to pass through the opening. In addition, all openings such as around pipes, ductwork and the chimney, should be sealed with insulation and a vapor barrier should be covering the entire insulated floor. Make sure that all attic vents are not blocked by insulation.
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To schedule an inspection of your home’s insulation within Sacramento or the San Francisco Bay Area please call 800.411.0840 today.
For home inspection services in the Sacramento and Bay Area please contact Golden State Home Inspections at 800.441.0804 or visit http://www.goldenstatehomeinspections.com.
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