Living in a climate where summers are hot and winters too cold means that insulation is essential, not only to be comfortable but to cut down on both heating and air conditioning bills. But have you ever wondered if your house has the insulation it needs and where the insulation goes in your house?
Older houses often have tiled roofs and when they were built around 1950 nobody insulated ( or it hadn’t been invented then). Damp and cold leached into the roof cavity, and when we went up to have a look, the only insulation was years of accumulated dust. Without the proper insulation, we are losing 25% of heating/cooling.
Where to insulation inside your home
Exterior wall insulation
The exterior walls are the main shell of your house and it is so beneficial to get insulated. The typical size of the exterior wall is 2 by 4 wall stud, it used to require R-13 but now the energy code requires R-15 in most states and if the wall is framed with 2 by 6 , the minimum thickness of the insulation increases to R-19.
Interior wall insulation
The insulation of the interior walls are optional but very beneficial comparing to the cost. Insulate the interior wall reduce the noise level.
specially if the water lines and drainage lines are running through those walls. It helps to eliminate the noise coming from the plumbing inside the walls, it s not required by the code but very desirable by homeowners.
Roof & Celling insulation
In addition to walls, insulation should be installed in ceilings or/ and roofs of your house. The typical size of insulation goes into your ceiling is R-30. However, some houses are required to have a thicker insulation which can go up to R-38, it all depends on the size of the ceiling joists and roof rafters.
The energy code starting from 2020 is requiring the ceiling and the roof to be insulated which is not typical. before only the roof or the ceiling was required to be insulated.
Verifying the insulation of the underfloor if your house was built on raised floor framing is easy. Find the crawl space access which located outside of your house, some of the old homes have a very small crawl space access, make sure to bring a flash light because it will be dark, you will not need to go under your house, you will be able to verify the insulation just by looking through the crawl space access.
Slab on grade insulation
If you have an existing slab on grade so you probably do not have moisture barrier under your slab. it was very uncommon to install moister barrier for old homes before pouring the slab concrete.
Now it is required by code to install a vapor barrier and at least four inches of sand or gravel above the barrier below the slab to prevent moisture going through your slab into your house.
Water lines insulation
When living in a really cold climate, the water pipes can freeze overnight, and sometimes the expanding ice can crack the pipe and flood the house.
So if you live in a cold climate it may be necessary to insulate your pipes, to get you through the winter months. In the old days, I can remember the handyman wrapping all the pipes around the farm buildings, in hessian as a form of insulation, but that is no longer necessary as the pipes are properly insulated now.
Garage door insulation
Even if the common walls between the your house and the garage are not insulated, adding insulation to you garage door can help reduce the energy loss and help controlling the temperature inside your garage. which will reduce the energy required to cool or heat your house which will lead to save on your electricity bill.
Air Condition duct
Since AC duct running through your attic or under your house, it is exposed to the excessive heat and cold. Better duct insulation wrap will help reduce your electric bill, and reduce energy loss.
Check if your duct insulated or not but going to you attic if your ac register on the ceiling. If the AC vent located on the floor, check your crawl space. If your duct has no wrapping or has an old asbestos insulation, contact our local HVAC expert to insulate or upgrade your duct insulation.
Yes, windows have insulation rating value and it is called U-factor and also have SHGC ( Solar heat Gain Coefficient), better glass rating better insulation and controlling of the energy loss.
Home Insulation is an essential thing to do to keep your home warm/cool and safe, and once you have had your house insulated you wouldn’t be without it. Don’t try to do it yourself, get in the experts, and protect your family by having it done properly.
Here are the complete list of what should be insulated inside your house
- Exterior walls
- Interior walls -Optional
- Under floor- Raised floor
- Vapor Barrier -Slab on grade
- Hot and Cold water lines
- Garage door
- Air conditioning duct