Technically, yes, you can have too much insulation in a home. But it is a rare occurrence, and the amount of insulation needed is actually specific to the needs of your home.
When You Have Too Much Insulation
There is an ideal amount of insulation for your home to keep your home warm when it’s cold outdoors and cool when it’s hot outside. When your home is properly insulated and sealed, your energy bills are lower and you stay more comfortable.
But when it comes to insulation, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. First, you’re paying for insulation and possibly labor you don’t need and also, you’re not getting a return on that investment. At a certain point, your house is “insulated enough.” You won’t get any warmer or cooler the more insulation you add.
But how much insulation is too much insulation? If you believe your home needs more insulation or may even be over-insulated, give us a call at (888) 247-7475. We’ll help you schedule an appointment for us to assess your home insulation.
There is also a difference between being properly sealed and insulated and being over-sealed and over-insulated. A home requires air circulation, so if it is too tightly sealed and over-insulated, moisture can build up that causes mold. With too many layers of insulation, mold can even grow in between the layers.
Mold in the home can cause allergy flare-ups, allergic reactions, and breathing issues. So, while it is important that your home be correctly sealed and insulated, you shouldn’t aim for a hermetically-sealed dome. Over-insulating your home is a waste of money and resources.
When You Have Too Little Insulation
Having too much insulation in a home is uncommon. The more common concern is actually your home having too little insulation.
You may need more insulation in your home if:
- Your energy bills are skyrocketing
- One room is always hot while the others are a more comfortable temperature
- Your walls or floors are always cold
- Your home is drafty, especially in certain areas
- You notice water leaks or moldy insulation, especially in attic spaces
- There are rodents and/or insects in your home
- You feel or see air or water leaking out of your attic
- Your current insulation is matted down, dirty, moldy, or crumbling
Having the right amount of insulation saves you money and makes your home more comfortable and livable.
When determining if your home needs additional insulation, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends looking at where your home is and is not insulated, and where you have drafts or hot/cold spots. This usually includes attics, crawl spaces, basements, walls, floors, and ceilings. Less obvious places that could use extra insulation include around ductwork and pipes, garages, windows and doors, and around electrical outlets situated on outdoor walls.
They also suggest determining what type of insulation you currently have (fiberglass, cellulose, mineral wool, and/or foam) and the thickness or depth and R-value of your insulation. The minimum recommended thickness of insulation is about 10 to 14 inches with a minimum R-value of at least R-38.
You Need to Consider Your Climate
The amount of recommended insulation fits with the climate in the area in which you live. The ideal amount of insulation for a home in the Northeast or Midwest, for instance, will not be the same as the amount recommended for homes in the Southwest or Pacific Northwest. For cold climates, up to 18 inches of insulation is recommended, while in hot climates, typically less than 10 inches of insulation is required.
The position of your home — full sun, partial shade, a shady location — and how much direct sunlight it receives each day are also things to consider when choosing insulation. Fully or partially shaded locations cut down on the amount of heat that enters a home each season.
We Can Tell You if Your Home Is Over-Insulated or Under-Insulated
The licensed, certified insulation experts at Ambient Edge can take a look at your home, your ventilation, and your insulation to assess your levels. We will tell you if you need more or less insulation to make your home comfortable.
When it comes to insulation, we know you need to balance the cost of an insulation project against the return from lower energy bills and a more enjoyable living space. The Ambient Edge team has the knowledge and expertise to help you find the balance that works best for you and your home. We strive to provide the highest quality service and offer a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee.
Call (888) 247-7475 or send us a message today to schedule an estimate. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn for more information about our expert technicians and to see how we’ve solved customers’ issues in the past.