A lot of people seem to just take it for granted that their home will have been well insulated during construction. This sadly is often not the case. There are several reasons why your home might not be up to scratch in terms of insulation. The first is because the building contractor who built your home may very well have cut corners and simple omitted the correct level of insulation in an effort to save costs. Thankfully this practice is quite rare in homes built within the last ten years, due to increased regulatory controls.
The second reason your home may not be as well insulated as you would like is not really the fault of the builder. In some states the building codes are quite minimal in their insulation requirements. Putting in the absolute minimum building code requirement level of insulation is not recommended. I would always advocate using at least 20% to 30% more insulation depth, particularly in the attic, the main rout for heat loss.
If you suspect you may need to boost your insulation, the simplest option is to commission a survey of the house. In the energy conscious times we live in there should be plenty of surveyors in your local area offering their services. What you’re after is an insulation or energy audit. This will involve an experienced surveyor giving your house a thorough inspection, highlighting areas where you should increase you level of insulation. The surveyor will then put together a report that you can use as your blueprint for planning future insulation projects.
If you’re not sure whether or not you need to commission a survey, then first carry out your own preliminary inspection. Signs that you might have a problem, include sharp temperature changes once the heating has been turned off. A well insulated house should maintain a steady temperature for quite a while after the heat has been turned off, and not feel cold within half an hour.
An inspection of your attic should be carried out, you should check to make sure that you have between 10 and 15 inches of mineral wool evenly distributed over the floor of your attic. The key here is to make sure there are no gaps or patches in the insulation where heat can be leaked. If this level of inspection throws up some warning signs, then it’s well worth having a full survey done, if corners were cut in the attic, who knows where else you insulation might be deficient.
Jon Farrell writes further at http://www.theinsulationguide.com