3 Signs That Your House Is Under Insulated

October 07, 2021

Condensation appears when windows or walls are colder than the ambient temperature inside.

Condensation appears when windows or walls are colder than the ambient temperature inside.

The time has come to turn on the furnace and get the blood pumping throughout your house after a long summer of heatwaves. The only thing you didn’t anticipate is heating the neighbourhood! If your home is not properly insulated you will be able to tell with some of these simple checks. When you catch a problem before it becomes an issue - you will save yourself stress and keep money in your pockets. 

Check Your Wall Temperature

Walk around your house and perform the ‘Touch Test’. This check is FREE for you and will help you to determine the insulation quality of your walls. If your walls feel colder than the ambient temperature or damp, you are facing a problem. 

The Effect - Heat from your furnace will not be able to sustain warmth to your walls due to the lack of insulation. In turn, the air in each affected room will become colder because there will be no barrier to equalize the temperature. 

The Outcome - The furnace will work overtime to compensate for the cold room caused by the uninsulated walls.

The Fix - Have your walls inspected for the quality of batt insulation that was installed. It may be time for an upgrade! 

Inspect for Condensation

It doesn’t take an expert to notice if there is moisture or condensation forming in a room. Take window condensation, which is a tell-tale sign that the insulation could be compromised. While you are inspecting cold walls in your home, keep an eye out for moisture build-up.

The Effect - Moisture that starts to collect behind the walls or seeps between surfaces is bound to freeze. 

The Outcome - That can mean burst pipes, broken window sills, or worse… mold!

The Fix - Using spray foam insulation, cover the pipes and window seals to seal out the cold air from entering the house. If this doesn’t fix it, the windows of your home may need to be replaced.

Assess Drafts & Cold Rooms

What do we know about the scientific properties of air? Warm air wants to find a place to escape because of the atmospheric pressure, so it will find any nook and cranny to retreat through - creating an air draft! When you are walking around your house assessing your insulation needs, be sure to pay attention to the temperature difference between each room. 

The Effect - The furnace will be working hard to try to keep up with the heat loss for all rooms that are affected by drafts.

The Outcome - Your jaw will drop when you open your energy bill!

The Fix  - Sealing anywhere you feel a draft is essential! You can use spray foam insulation or weather stripping to help keep the warm air in and the cold air out. 

Pay your attic a visit. From there check all the vents are closed and evaluate your blown-in insulation. 

Next, go to the crawlspace or basement and ensure there is spray foam insulation applied to the walls and the furnace filter is clean.

Old Insulation

Now that you have walked through the house and made your assessments - what does old insulation look like? If you find the colouring is grey and dull, wet, or moldy - it is time for the experts to come in. 

There is an abundance of rebates from the federal government and utility companies that you can take advantage of to help upgrade your home! Be sustainable and environmentally friendly this winter by making these improvements. FortisBC rebates include furnace, natural gas, and insulation upgrades to help prep for winter.

Hiring professionals is key to success. There is a science to honing in on the proper air tightness seal to every home. Okanagan Insulation Services are proud to adopt the BC Energy Step Code program to help design a greener future. The Step Code program goes beyond the BC Builders Code, with the goal to be prepared for net-zero energy in new buildings in just over a decade. They are here to support our community by becoming environmentally responsible and keeping your hard-earned money in your wallets by cutting down on energy costs.

Get your free energy assessment with Okanagan Insulation experts who can advise you what rebates you would qualify for, and whether or not you will require an Energy Evaluation from an Energy Advisor to take advantage of the current grants.