Insulation: Does Your Home Have Enough?
LESLIE: Bridget from Illinois is on the line and has a question about insulation. Tell us what you currently have or do you just have nothing?
BRIDGET: I don’t know if my walls are insulated. I have a one-story house and it has cedar siding.
BRIDGET: So I want to know what’s the best way to insulate it and how can I tell if there’s insulation in there already?
TOM: Well, an easy way to tell is to take the cover plate off of an electrical outlet. And with a light, you can usually look to the left or to the right of the outlet, into the stud bay itself, and see what kind of insulation is in there.
How old is your house, Bridget?
BRIDGET: It was built around 1965.
TOM: Well, typically, it would have fiberglass insulation in those walls, though. That’s not terribly old.
BRIDGET: OK. Thank you. That was my question.
TOM: Alright, Bridget.
BRIDGET: And if it does have – if it doesn’t have insulation, what would – what should I do?
TOM: Well, in a 1965 house, the first thing we would tell you to do is to look in the attic, because that’s where you’re having the most heat loss. So you want to add 19 to 22 inches of insulation in the attic first. After that, you would take a look at the floors and over the unheated space and insulate those. And then, thirdly, you could look at the walls. But the walls would have to be done by blown-in insulation.
Although I tell you, it would be very unusual for a 1965 house to not have any insulation.
LESLIE: To not have insulation.
TOM: However, it would be typical for them to have – for a 1965 house to have not enough insulation in the attic space.
BRIDGET: OK. Well, that’s where I’ll check first then. Thank you.
TOM: Alright. Good luck, Bridget. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
I bet she’s cold in Champaign, Illinois.