If you own an older home that's cold and drafty in the winter, it just makes sense to have it re-insulated, right? In fact, retrofit insulation companies are a growing industry because there are so many homes out there with insufficient insulation. If yours is one of them, or you're thinking of renting a blower to do the job yourself, you may want to read this article from the Star Tribune. The columnist does a good job of explaining in detail what happens when a home is re-insulated, and the unintended consequences that can result.
While more insulation could result in prevention of ice dams as well as reducing utility bills, there are also other things that can be inadvertently changed. Insulation affects the whole house, and adding more can cut down on insulation, which can cause problems with gas backdrafts, mold development, and a whole host of other effects.
His recommendation? Have a professional home energy audit done (the kind where they use the blower door and infrared cameras or guns) to have your insulation situation evaluated first. Then make sure the pro you hires guarantees the overall result, not just the insulation. That way you're covered if you need to add ventilation somewhere to offset the insulation.A home is a complex structure, and all the parts need to work together. Whenever you're remodeling or making changes to your home, it's a good idea to get the advice of a professional; otherwise you may get more than you bargained for.
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