Buying Cheap Home Insulation? Consider These 7 Things Before You Sign the Contract
Buying home insulation can be hard when you’re trying to do it on a budget.
Those cheaper prices for insulation are definitely tempting, but you also get what you pay for and cheaper isn’t always better.
If you get pulled in by the cheaper price tag of traditional insulation, it’s easy to overlook some of the cost issues that come with it. There are issues that pop up with traditional insulation, but they don’t hit you in the pocket quite like these ones do.
Air leakage in your home. I’m sure you’re wondering how air leakage can cost you money, but it does because it leads to two other challenges listed below – wear and tear on your mechanicals and high energy bills. If you can’t maintain a constant temperature in your home because air is leaking in and out, then you’ll end up paying for it one way or another.
Replacement cost for fiberglass and cellulose. You think when you buy insulation it should be a one and done kind of deal, but it’s not. Over time, both fiberglass and cellulose will break down, shift, settle, or sag. This means it’s leaving you with air gaps and you’ll end up having to replace it at some point down the road. On average fiberglass and cellulose has an average life of 8-10 years. Not to mention that cellulose has to be raked and maintained regularly.
Moisture issues can lead to costly problems. With air movement through traditional insulation comes condensation. When warm air meets cold air, condensation forms. Both fiberglass and cellulose can retain that moisture, which in some cases will be held in the material and against the wood framing in your home. This can lead to structural damage and the formation of mold.
Pest control costs when insulation becomes critter condos. Pests are feeling around the outside of your home looking for air leaks. This tells them there is an open door to come on in and get comfortable. The gaps in your insulation was an open invite, now you’ll have to pay someone to come in to clear out the pests and any messes they left behind. This also leads to the traditional insulation needing to be replaced.
Added maintenance cost from the HVAC running constantly. You know the saying “work smarter, not harder” is true in life and for your air conditioner and heating. If air is leaking in your home, these appliances have to work twice as hard just to maintain a constant temperature. This leads to more money out of your pocket for maintenance costs.
High monthly energy bills. You add insulation to your home in hopes of making it more comfortable and not having to use your AC unit or heat as much. As long as the traditional insulation you choose still allows for air movement, those mechanicals are going to continue to work overtime. The more they have to work, the more you end up paying, unless you opt to be uncomfortable all the time to avoid the heat and air conditioning.
Poor air quality in the home. If you have seasonal allergies, choosing insulation that still allows for air movement through it could also cost you money. Those allergens get trapped inside materials like fiberglass, which could lead to more reactions for you or your family and more money on allergy medicine or inhalers.
The insulation in your home should reduce heat loss or heat gain as it creates another layer between your living space and the outside environment. Spray foam insulation is more expensive in initial costs when compared to traditional options, but it’s the only material that creates an air seal in your home that saves you money in the long run. That same air seal is keeping your conditioned air inside and the outside air out.