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Published: December 12, 2016

4 Signs of an Attic Insulation Problem

We often remove and replace attic insulation. But how do you even know you if have an insulation problem?

There are four key indicators that we look for, and you can look for them too. 

1. Inconsistency

This is probably the problem most people find. Everyone’s got that one hot or cold room in their house! Or maybe it’s the whole upstairs. Sometimes it’s the office, sometimes it’s even the master bedroom. Sometimes cold (or hot) rooms are correlated with the distance the room is from the AC/heating system, or whether it’s an add-on to the original house. But most of the time, a hot or cold room is caused by inconsistent attic insulation. You may have 10 inches in one place, but only six or four in another! Consistency is even more important than depth, in our opinion. So if you have a cold room in your house, more than likely it’s an insulation problem, not just an architectural or design problem.

2. Cycling thermostat

If your thermostat is going crazy, cycling on and off; if it feels really stuffy sometimes and then really cold at others, your thermostat is getting confused! One of the problems in a house with really good insulation is that you might have to keep turning the thermostat up higher and higher because it will get to the temperature I’ve set it to and stay off. Then the house will start to feel colder, just because the heat hasn’t run in a long time because the good insulation is keeping the system off! But if you find you keep having to lower your thermostat because your heater is trying to run all the time—you might have an insulation problem. So if your thermostat is cycling on and off, or if you just can’t get it to turn off, that’s a key indicator of an insulation issue.

3. Draftiness

This is typically more of a window or door issue. If part of your house feels really drafty or cool in some areas, that can be a key indicator of an insulation inconsistency, or maybe insulation is missing altogether from a certain part of the house. 

4. Can lights

Remember all that recessed lighting that was put in homes in the 70s, 80s, and 90s? If you have more than 10 can lights in an average 2,000 or 3,000 square-foot home, they could be causing you trouble. The problem is that there is typically no insulation over those can lights, leaving you with areas of inconsistent insulation where heat or air can escape. So if you have a lot of can lights, that's an area you want to check to see if you have an insulation problem. 

We are more than happy to come out and take a look at your house, to see if your insulation is good and consistent! But you can start with these tips yourself, and see how things look.

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