Here's How to Check Insulation Levels in Your Home

Here's How to Check Insulation Levels in Your Home

If you'd like to lower your energy bills and improve your home comfort, addressing sources of air leakage and areas with inadequate insulation can help. Checking two key areas where these problems often occur can help you decide if it's time to hire a professional to boost the insulation level and seal up air leaks.

Up in the Attic

For home attics in our region, the Department of Energy (DOE) advises insulating the floor to R-60, and correcting air leaks to reduce heat transfer with the living areas below. You can perform a couple of easy checks to assess these issues:

  • When it's dark out, turn on the lights in the rooms below the attic. Go up there, close the hatch and take a thorough look around the floor to locate any leak sources where light bleeds through from below.

  • To judge the insulation level, turn on your attic lights and look around again. If you see the tops of the floor joists in any spot, there's not enough insulation. If the joists are well-hidden, you likely have a sufficient amount installed.

You can fix areas of energy waste and increase the efficiency of your home by sealing the attic, installing a vapor barrier on the floor, and increasing insulation to the recommended level.

Your Exterior Walls

According to the DOE, your exterior wall cavities should have R-19 in insulation installed, and you should seal leaks in the exterior shell by weatherstripping and using caulk and expandable foam insulation. To assess these areas:

  • Take off the electrical box covers on the exterior walls, then shut their breakers off. Using a flashlight, look inside each box for signs of insulation. If none is visible, your walls probably need insulation.

  • At night, shut off all the interior lights in your home, then walk around shining a flashlight at the exterior walls. Get a helper to follow you outdoors to identify any spots where leaks let the light shine through from inside.

Contact us at Air Assurance for more advice about increasing the insulation level and sealing leaks in your Broken Arrow home.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about insulation and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “john-kasawa/Shutterstock”