Is your older home lacking the insulation it needs to prevent air loss? If so, you'll likely be looking into ways to add more insulation to improve the overall energy efficiency. Here are some tips to help you do it.
Understand The R-Value
You likely see insulation rated by its R-value but are not sure what it means. Know that the R-value is based on how the insulation is able to resist heat flow. A high R-value will mean that it performs better at insulating your home when compared to a low R-value. The US Department of Energy will have guidelines about which R-value you should use based on the region that you are in since different climates will have different needs. If you live in sunny Florida, you won't need insulation with a high R-value when compared to the northern parts of the county where it is colder in the winter.
Check For A Vapor Or Moisture Barrier
If you are going to be adding more insulation on top of your existing insulation, such as an attic, you'll want to check for an existing vapor or moisture barrier beneath the insulation. Simply pull it back and look to see if the insulation appears to be attached to a flat layer that looks like paper. This is the vapor or moisture barrier and should be applied only to the bottom layer of insulation. And insulation you are adding on top of the existing insulation should not have this barrier. Meanwhile, if the insulation doesn't have that barrier, you should consider swapping out the bottom layer with new insulation that has the vapor or moisture barrier.
Overlap New Insulation
If the existing insulation in your home runs in one direction, such as west to east, then you should put that new layer of insulation on top of it in the opposite direction. Using a crisscross pattern will help cover any gaps in the insulation and trap air inside your home. You'd be surprised at how big of a difference it can make with a slight orientation change to how you place the insulation.
Not sure if you know what to do when installing insulating on your own? Reach out to a local insulation contractor for their assistance. They'll make sure that you get the right insulation for your region and perform the insulation correctly. You'll be well on your way to having a more energy-efficient home.