For people in Minnesota, preparing the house for the long winter is an essential part of being a homeowner, from clearing out gutters to cleaning the chimney. However, before those, ensuring your home has proper insulation against the cold should be at the top of your “to-do” list. Insufficient insulation can lead not only to a cold and uncomfortable home but also an increased energy bill.

Winter Heat Loss in the Home

There are many issues which can affect the efficiency of your home’s insulation. Insulation value is measured in terms of an R-value, but increasing your R-value does not always mean your home is better insulated.

A common form of heat loss is through gaps in the insulation, which can result from improper installation. Having doors and windows that do not close properly creates another access point for air exchange, allowing heat to escape in winter and enter in summer. 

The Effects of Poor Insulation

Having improper insulation in your home can cause a variety of effects, depending on your insulation problem. Having a poor R-value alone will make it more difficult to adequately heat and cool your home, meaning you could be spending more money on your climate control than necessary. Holes and gaps in the insulation can lead to a pest infestation, especially in the brutal Minnesota winters where everything living does its best to get warm. In some cases, the pests might even be the reason for the gap in your home’s insulation.

Monitoring Your Insulation Quality

Depending upon the unique aspects of your home and insulation system, monitoring your home’s insulation can be done in a variety of ways, the least practical of which is opening the walls and ceiling to look for yourself. A savvy homeowner can also deduce problems with their insulation through increases in their energy bill, although this can be difficult with Minnesota’s large temperature fluctuations.

Another way of checking the efficacy of your insulation is by testing for hot or cold spots. For example, if there is a room or spot in your house that seems unaffected by the climate control despite cranking it to its extremes, that can be an indicator that there is improper insulation present. This becomes far more likely if there is also a draft present, which is a sure indication of air movement. Use the candle test to check for drafts around doors and windows.

To protect not only their pocketbook but also their comfort, it is important for homeowners to monitor their climate control and home’s insulation protection. Thinking about upgrading your insulation? Turn to Minnesota Home Improvements. By using high-quality insulation products and ensuring proper ventilation, we can help you safeguard your home against the winter chill.