Home Inspection

4 Things You Should Know About Energy-Efficient Home Insulation After You Become a Home Inspector

April 06, 2021

Insulation serves a vital function in every home: it prevents heat from flowing in and out. Thanks to insulation, a home can be kept cool in the summer while staying warm in the winter. However, not all insulation is created equal, and some homes are equipped with insulation that is less efficient than others. When insulation isn’t installed correctly or is located in the wrong places, a home can lose energy–resulting in a higher-than-average energy bill and a drafty living environment. 

If you’re interested in becoming a home inspector, there are four things you should know. They are: energy-efficient insulation, how energy-efficient insulation works, the various types of insulation, and where it should be installed. When equipped with knowledge about energy-efficient insulation, you’ll be able to accurately assess the insulation of a home to determine whether it’s doing its job, or if an upgrade is needed.

1. Those with Home Inspector Training Should Know How Energy-Efficient Insulation Works

Today, homes are more energy efficient than those of the past. This is due to developments in building products, smart appliances, and improved electrical systems. However, much of a home’s energy consumption depends on the amount of insulation used and where it’s installed. 

Energy efficient insulation helps homeowners to reduce energy expenses

During your home inspector career, it’s important to check the insulation in a home’s roof, walls, floors, and other areas to determine its thickness and the material used. When insulation is optimized for efficiency and effectiveness, less heat or cold air will escape through its exterior–putting less strain on ventilation systems and resulting in reduced energy consumption.

2. There Are Many Different Types of Energy-Efficient Insulation

There are many different kinds of insulation which can be used in a home, and different types of insulation materials have different advantages. Insulation’s efficiency is measured as an R-value. R refers to the resistance to the flow of heat. As a home inspector, it’s important to identify the material of insulation in a home in order to determine its R-value. Cellulose, fiberglass, and spray foam insulation are all commonly used insulation materials within a home, and each of these will have a different R-value. 

3. Insulation Should Be Installed in Many Different Areas of a Home

Once the existing insulation’s efficiency has been determined, those with home inspector training can move on to check all areas of a home where insulation should be installed. Many homes use excessive amounts of energy due to the fact that many areas are left un-insulated. When inspecting a home, check that there is sufficient insulation in a home’s roof, walls, attic, floors and foundation. If any of these areas aren’t equipped with insulation already, some form of the material should be installed as soon as possible to improve the home’s energy efficiency. 

A home’s attic is one area where insulation should be installed to maximize energy efficiency

4. Insulation can be Measured to Determine its Efficiency 

When assessing a home’s insulation for energy efficiency, it’s important to measure the insulation in place in addition to determining which areas which need to be insulated. The efficiency of a home’s insulation can be measured using an equation. First, identify the material of the insulation, and conduct research to find this insulation type’s R-value. Next, multiply this R-value by the thickness of the insulation in place. The resulting number can be compared to standard recommendations to confirm whether the amount of insulation in place is suitable to provide adequate insulation against air flow. Existing insulation may need to be upgraded for increased thickness, depending on the results. 

When establishing whether a home is energy efficient, it’s important to check where the insulation is located, as well as whether additional insulation needs to be installed. Those seeking a career in home inspection can help homeowners to reduce their energy bill by identifying areas for insulation improvement, and recommending changes that will maximize energy efficiency.

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