5 Reasons Updating Wall Insulation Is So Important

04/23/2024 | By Ross |

5 reasons updating wall insulation is so important

We spend a lot of time educating clients about the importance of attic insulation, but exterior wall insulation is equally important. Most clients choose to update their wall insulation at the same time as their attic insulation to optimize whole-home comfort and energy efficiency.

5 Reasons Updating Wall Insulation Offers A Good Return On Investment (ROI)

However, interior comfort isn’t the only reason for updating wall insulation. If you live in an older home (built 15 years ago or more), odds are the insulation no longer meets current building code guidelines when it comes to energy efficiency mandates. Beyond code requirements, there are a handful of other reasons it’s worth investing in whole-home insulation updates or replacements.

Optimize HVAC function (and energy efficiency)

Beyond its ability to minimize solar heat gain from the roof, insulation is critical for your home because it optimizes HVAC function. The more inconsistent interior temperatures are throughout the home, the more the HVAC cycles on and off to maintain the thermostat settings. This leads to increased HVAC wear and tear, as well as higher energy bills.

According to the EPA, home heating and cooling costs comprise about 50% of the average American’s energy spending. The more you do to optimize HVAC function, the more money you save on utility bills. Also, the less you spend on HVAC parts repair and replacement, the more you save there, too. The simple act of updating insulation and air sealing can save you as much as 15% on heating/cooling costs. For most clients, that’s a savings of hundreds of dollars per year.

Minimize moisture control issues

Insulation is one part of a four-part system: roof, insulation, ventilation, and home sealing. Each is integral to what we call the home’s thermal envelope. Any issue compromising one of these integral parts puts your home at risk for moisture control issues. That’s especially true here in the Bay Area, where humidity levels are higher than in other areas of the state.

Moisture control issues lead to:

  • Increased risk of mold/mildew.
  • Interior temperatures that feel higher or lower than they are (leading to firing up the HVAC more than you would otherwise).
  • Structural rot.
  • Compromised indoor air quality (IAQ).

Signs you have moisture control issues

Moisture issues are serious. Without intervention, they lead to structural issues that are very expensive to repair. Some of the most common signs you have moisture issues are:

  • Condensation on windows or other surfaces in the home.
  • Evidence of mold/mildew (green/grey/yellowish stains on walls/ceilings).
  • A musty or stale smell in certain areas of the home.
  • Soft or spongy wall surfaces.
  • Interior humidity readings are consistently above 50% (healthy humidity levels in Bay Area interiors are between 30% and 50%). 

While inadequate insulation is one cause, moisture issues in a home can also stem from an outdated roof, poor sealing, lack of ventilation (in and out of the house), or old windows. 

Eliminate inconsistent temperatures from room to room

Let’s say you do your due diligence, upgrade the attic insulation and ventilation, and ensure your home is well-sealed. You may still wind up with inconsistent temperatures from room to room due to inadequate insulation in the exterior walls.

If an exterior wall has inadequate insulation, the interior side will feel warm to the touch on a hot day and cooler to the touch on a cold day. This is a sign that the insulation isn’t enough to provide the level of temperature buffering you need. You’ll most likely notice this on south-facing walls (heat) or north-facing walls (cold). 

Better soundproofing

If your insulation is outdated, the interior of your home may experience far more sound pollution than necessary. Updating wall insulation is a great way to reduce sound pollution and create a quieter home

Insulation was designed to minimize heat transfer from one area to another. However, exterior wall insulation is also a natural sound buffer from the outside world. The Bay Area is one of the most densely populated regions in the United States, which means homeowners may hear more than their fair share of noise from air traffic, road traffic, sirens, and highway noise - not to mention the neighbors.

BONUS SOUNDPROOFING: We can also help to minimize noise transfer from one room of your home to the next. As long as you get a quote for updating the wall insulation, ask us about noise-reducing products we can install in the interior walls for added peace and quiet. 

Rodent removal and prevention

Sometimes, rodents and other pests make themselves known via scratching or other sounds related to their movement. Other times, homeowners aren’t aware they have a problem until we are called in to replace their insulation. During the inspection, we can tell whether the rodent issue is current or from the past. In either case, cleaning, sanitation, and the implementation of rodent proofing and prevention protect your new insulation investment.

In addition to doing serious damage to insulation, wiring, plumbing, HVAC ducts, and structural components, rodent infestations also compromise indoor air quality due to the noxious off-gassing from their feces. They can also transport unwanted vectors into your home, like fleas, ticks, and mites.

When you hire us to update or replace exterior wall insulation, we’ll remove and sanitize any evidence of rodents and other pests. We can also discuss how to prevent future infestations.

Get A Quote For Exterior Wall Insulation From Attic Solutions

Do you suspect your home is overdue for a wall insulation update? Schedule a free, no-obligation appointment with Attic Solutions. We’ve provided honest service to our Bay Area customers for over a decade. Our initial inspection and estimate are free of charge and can provide vital information about making your home more comfortable, soundproof, and energy efficient. 

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