Cold drafts, unbearable indoor temperatures and expensive power bills: these are some of the negatives that under-insulated households experience. No one wants to be in this position, but how do you know it’s time to replace your insulation?

How long does insulation last for?

The lifespan of insulation depends on a number of factors including the type of insulation materials and the quality of the products used. Water damage, rodent infestation and installation issues can also reduce the lifespan of insulation. As a rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to get your insulation inspected every 15 years, or sooner if you suspect there are issues.

That being said, many modern insulation products are designed and manufactured with advanced technologies which make them more durable than ever. Many manufacturers claim that their products will last the lifetime of your home. Bradford Insulation, for example, comes with a 70 year warranty.

If you moved into an existing home, you probably aren’t aware of what type of insulation was installed (if any), so it’s always a good idea to get an inspection. With up to 60% of your home’s heat loss and gain happening through the external walls and roof, it’s especially crucial to make sure you have adequate wall and roof insulation.

How do you know when you need new insulation?

Although nothing beats a professional inspection, there are a few telltale signs that your insulation might need replacing:

  • Difficulty heating or cooling your home – If your air conditioner or heater is working overtime but struggling to keep your home a comfortable temperature, it could mean your insulation isn’t doing it’s job properly. Effective insulation resists heat loss or gain, making artificial heating and cooling more efficient.
  • Fluctuating indoor temperatures – If you notice that temperatures inside your home change frequently according to outdoor temperatures it could mean your insulation is letting you down. Effective insulation should help keep your home cooler on hot days and warmer on cold days.
  • High energy bills – If you’ve noticed that your energy bills have steadily increased over the past months or even years, it could be a sign that your insulation is getting old. That’s because homes with less effective insulation tend to rely more on artificial heating and cooling, leading to increased energy consumption.
  • Water damage – If you notice any leaks into your roof, or if your roof suffered storm damage it could lead to moisture damage in your roof insulation. When wet, insulation will become compressed which means the millions of air pockets will no longer be able to effectively resist heat flow. What’s more, moisture in roof insulation can lead to mould problems. Damaged or mouldy insulation should be replaced as soon as possible.
  • You moved into an old home – If you moved into an old home, chances are you don’t know when the insulation was installed. In fact, it could be decades old. In these circumstances, it’s a good idea to have an inspection to avoid living in an under insulated home.