What is Insulation?
It’s likely that you don’t give much thought to the insulation that’s quietly installed in your walls and has no moving parts that need to be repaired. As soon as you experience subzero temperatures, a three-figure utility bill, or frigid draughts, you’ll begin to reflect on your decision.
There are several things to consider at home before deciding to install this in your ceilings, walls, or basement. In the store, you’re torn between several types, thicknesses and widths, densities. For the first time, you question if “good enough” is even a word.
This Project Requires These Tools
Preparation ahead of time will save you both time and frustration on this do-it-yourself job.
Wearing a dust mask is a good idea
- Wearing a pair of protective goggles
- Cutlery scraper
This Project Requires the Use of Certain Materials
Preparation is the key to avoiding last-minute runs to the store. Here’s a rundown.
- 6-mil Polyethylene Vapor Barrier
- Chutes for air
- Foam that’s been allowed to expand
- Insulation that does not bend or flex
Close Off All Air Leaks Right Away!
Insulating the attic is one of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to improve the energy efficiency of your home.
If you seal up the air bypass first around plumbing, chimneys, and electrical ductwork and interior walls and exhaust fans — spots where warm, wet interior air escapes into the attic — you’ll significantly boost the efficacy of home insulation.
To prepare for attic insulation installation, follow these steps:
You can plug air gaps around pipes, ducts, and electrical cables in the attic with caulk & expanding foam (the fire-blocking type). Opt for a fire-blocking material.
In between the brick chimney & the surrounding wood framing, cut and fit 24-gauge sheet metal Caulk the joint between the flashing and the chimney with high-temperature caulk.
Use screw hooks to tighten the hatch to the weatherstripping around the perimeter of the attic access hole. The top of the hatch should be covered with strong extruded foam insulation.
In terms of insulation, how much is too much?
A naked ceiling or wall might save a lot of money by adding just three inches of insulation. Adding another about three inches will help, but not to the same extent.
The National Association of Insulation Manufacturers has graphs depicting the Department of Energy’s recommended levels of at-home insulation installation. Fuel costs, Climate & other factors influence their suggestions. The ROI will decrease as you add more.
Retrofitting your house with insulation is an investment that can pay for itself over a variety of time frames. It is often found to pay for itself within five to ten years of installation.
Ventilation of Crawlspaces and Attics
Maintaining or installing sufficient ventilation in your home’s attic and crawlspaces is essential, as insulation alters the airflow in these areas. At first glance, it is counterintuitive to have insulation to keep cold air out while yet including ventilation openings to let warm air in. Moisture might build up in your home if this is not done.
Maintaining an air space of at least one inch between the insulation and the roof sheathing is critical when adding attic rafters and floors.
Moisture is flushed out of this air gap. It keeps the roof cool enough to prevent ice dams in the winter & excessive heat from harming the shingles and raising cooling costs in the summer.
Homeowners often make the error of putting up their insulation in such a way that it limits the air flow from the eaves. Installing affordable air chutes is the easiest method to avoid this issue.
Proper ventilation is also needed in newly insulated crawlspaces. Unheated crawlspaces’ ceilings and heated crawlspaces’ walls are typically insulated.
In all circumstances, a 6-mil polyethylene vapor barrier should be put on the ground to prevent moisture from escaping. For every 1,500 square feet of floor space, at least one square foot of ventilation should be installed.