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Add Home Insulation and Keep the Heat In – Worcester, Boston

Joseph Coupal - Monday, November 25, 2013

Winter is quickly coming and it is time to dig out warm coats and turn up the furnaces. That means that higher heating bills aren’t far off either. Heating costs are your largest home energy expense, why not make this the year to increase your insulation.

A well-insulated house is like dressing properly for the weather. A wool sweater will keep you warm if the wind isn’t blowing and it’s not raining. On a windy, rainy day, wearing a nylon shell over your wool sweater helps keep you dry and warm.

A house is similar. On the outside, underneath the brick or siding, there’s an air barrier that does the same thing — it keeps the wind from blowing through. Then there is the insulation (like your sweater) and a vapor barrier that helps keep moisture away from the house structure where it can do damage.

Signs of Insulation Problems

In the winter, cold walls and/or floors, high heating costs, uneven heating levels, mold on walls.

In the summer, uncomfortably hot inside; high cooling costs, ineffective air-conditioning system, mold in basement.

Insulation Effectiveness

R values are a way of labeling the effectiveness of insulating materials. The higher the R- value the more resistance to the movement of heat.

There are numerous types of insulation such as blanket or batting, spray foam, blown-in and wet spray insulation. Choosing the appropriate type to your specific need is important.

Installation also plays a large role in its effectiveness. Compressing insulation, leaving air spaces around the insulation and allowing air movement in the insulation all reduce the actual R value of the insulation.

Attic Insulation

The attic is often the most cost-effective place to add insulation. Usually, a contractor blows bown-in insulation into and over the top of ceiling joists. Batts insulation laid sideways on existing insulation is another solution. The air barrier at the ceiling line must be tight to ensure warm moist air from the house doesn’t get into the cold attic and condense in the winter. Check ceiling light fixtures, the tops of interior walls and pipe penetrations for air leakage. Ensure that soffit venting is not blocked by added insulation; baffles may have to be installed.

Basement Insulation

Basement walls are unique because they must handle significant moisture flows from both inside and outside the house.

Exterior insulation is the preferred method. Insulate the wall on the outside with rigid insulation suitable for below-grade installations, such as extruded polystyrene or rigid fibreglass. This works well with damp-proofing and foundation drainage as rigid fibreglass acts as a drainage layer, keeping surface and ground water away from the foundation. Basement walls are kept at room temperature, protecting the structure, reducing the risk of interior condensation and increasing comfort.

Interior insulation can also be used. When finishing the basement, batt insulation in stud cavities or extruded polystyrene and strapping on the face of perimeter walls is used. If the basement won’t be finished, then rolls of polyethylene-encapsulated fibreglass over the wall is installed.

Insulate and keep the heat in. For more information, contact Custom Insulation.

LFPress.com




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