If you've noticed your heating and cooling bills have increased without reason, don't assume you need to replace your HVAC system. Instead, check your insulation. Especially in older homes, there isn't always enough insulation to keep your home hot or cold. Check out these three places where you need to check your insulation levels.
The attic should be the first place you check because it is easy to add insulation to (unless you have a finished attic). With enough insulation in the attic, you get less heat escaping through the roof during the winter, and less heat seeping in during the summer. You can check to see if you have enough insulation in your attic just by looking at how much you have. If the insulation is not at least level with the beams, you probably need more. In the attic, you want about 10 to 14 inches of insulation, which gives it an R-value of around R-38.
Your exterior walls also need a good amount of insulation because they directly touch the outside elements. With poor insulation, cold and heat can simply transfer though the building material. The R-value of your exterior walls should be about R-5, but the exact number does vary from region to region because of weather. The best way to add insulation to your exterior walls without destroying them is to use blown-in insulation. With this type, you make a hole in the wall and blow some insulation into the wall. It causes less damage and needs less repair after the insulation is added.
If you have bedrooms above your garage, and they tend to be hotter or colder than the rest of the home, you may not have enough insulation in your garage ceiling. Unless your garage is well insulated and weather-proofed, it probably gets almost as cold and hot as outside, which can make those rooms above the garage uncomfortable. Again, blow-in insulation would probably be your best bet, and you want an R-value of about R-13 to R-30. It may also be a good idea to ensure all the drywall is sealed with caulk to add further insulation.
Don't keep paying too much for heating and cooling when you could simply add some insulation to your home. If you would like more information regarding insulation or to find out if you need insulation, contact a company in your area today, such as Federal Conservation Corp..