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Cozy Up for Winter

Five signs you need to insulate

A cool grand. Nearly half a home’s total energy bill — $1,000 annually — is what the average family spends each year on home heating and cooling costs, according to the U.S. government’s Energy Star program.
    Improving your insulation could save you hundreds of dollars.
    Insulation traps warm air inside a home’s walls — similar to how a fleece sweater does for the body — to regulate a home’s temperature.
    How do you know if your home is properly insulated?
    “Telltale signs can alert any homeowner that it’s time to add to or replace home insulation to keep from wasting energy dollars,” says Mike Benetti of Roxul, a manufacturer of stone-wool insulation.
    Use this checklist to read those telltale signs in your home.

1. Vintage home
    Prior to consistent building codes, most homes built before 1980 were not insulated. If your home has no materials trapping heat, energy conservation is an uphill battle. Walls, ceilings and floors are the most important areas to add insulation for an immediate, positive impact on energy usage and bills.

2. Mold growth
    Mold in the corners of ceilings could mean your current insulation slumps and holds moisture. If so, it’s time to replace your insulation with a product, like Roxul ComfortBatt, that does not store or transfer moisture and is completely resistant to mold, mildew, rot and bacterial growth.

3. Non-stop furnace
    Does your furnace seem to run non-stop in the winter? Adequate insulation leads to less maintenance on your heating system, as it lasts longer, and runs less for long-term savings.

4. Temperature inconsistency
    If you feel cold spots coming from the walls or attic, or one room of your home is drafty and another one warm, you may need to beef up your insulation. The fireplace, walls and attic are prime spots for drafts. Look for insulation that can fit snugly in rafters and other tight areas.

5. Roof hot spots
    If your shingles are exposed after a snowfall, chances are these hot spots are indicative of warm air escaping. Check your attic for adequate insulation. If you can easily see your floor joists, you should add more. Use insulation, such as stone wool, that won’t sag or lose density over time.