Phoenix Home Inspection Tips
Wasted energy is a big problem with homes that have been built in Phoenix and the surrounding cities like Scottsdale, Mesa and Peoria. Arizona home inspectors who receive additional training or work in conjunction with other experts are in a position to make a substantial difference with regard to energy use in residential housing. One area with chronic problems within the average home relates to insulation alignment.
For a home to be energy efficient, it must have an air barrier (usually drywall) and a thermal barrier (insulation) and they must be in full contact with each other to work. Any voids formed between the insulation and the drywall results in energy loss and potential comfort problems.
Most of the insulation types seen during an Arizona home inspection (fiberglass, cellulose, mineral wool) do not stop the flow of air. Since air is able to pass through the insulation, in your attic, any air gap between the drywall and insulation will be equal to the attic temperature. This renders the insulation useless. You could add more insulation to the area and it would have no benefit.
The two biggest problem areas we see as Phoenix home inspectors is due to fiberglass insulation not being installed correctly and in areas of the home with certain interior design features. Drop ceilings, arches, knee walls, soffits and arches are rarely insulated properly. Fortunately, if the home has an accessible attic, some of the defects can be repaired.
By the way, the photo above shows an insulated wall in new construction. Think about where the insulation will have gaps when drywall is installed. Along both sides of every vertical stud the insulation is not faced nailed to the stud so a gap is formed. The insulation is also prevented from contacting the drywall at the horizontal white pipe and at the electrical components. This installation is improper as it relates to energy efficiency.
A standard Phoenix home inspection will not include detailed analysis of the insulation placement, however, additional investigation is available. Repair of insulation mis-alignment in the attic is an effective way to lower your energy costs and increase your comfort. Send us an email by clicking on the link to the left and we will refer you to the local experts.