Where To Insulate To Reduce Heat Loss In Your Home
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Where To Insulate To Reduce Heat Loss In Your Home

A conventional one-story house is insulated in walls, floors over unheated crawl spaces and ceilings to reduce heat loss in homes.

To reduce heat loss from the house during cold weather in most climates, all walls, ceilings, roofs, and floors that separate heated from unheated spaces should be insulated.

In houses with unheated crawl spaces, insulation should be placed between the floor joists or around the wall perimeter. If flexible insulation is used, it should be well supported between joists by slats and a galvanized wire mesh or by a rigid board. The vapor barrier should be installed toward the subflooring. Press-fit or friction insulation fits tightly between joists and requires only a small amount of support to hold it in place. Reflective insulation is often used for crawl spaces, but only one dead-air space (between the insulation and the subflooring) should be assumed in calculating heat loss when the crawl space is ventilated. A ground cover of roll roofing or plastic film such as polyethylene should be placed on the soil of crawl spaces to decrease the moisture content of the space as well as of the wood members.

In 1 1/2-story houses, insulation should be placed along all walls, floors, and ceilings that are adjacent to unheated areas. These include stairways, dwarf (knee) walls, and dormers. Provisions should be made for ventilation of the unheated areas.

Where attic space is unheated and a stairway is included, insulation should be installed around the stairway as well as in the first-floor ceiling. The door leading to the attic should be weather-stripped to prevent heat loss. Walls adjoining an unheated garage or porch should also be insulated.

In houses with flat or low-pitched roofs, insulation should be used in the ceiling area with sufficient space allowed above for unobstructed ventilation between the joists. Insulation should be used along the perimeter of houses built on slabs. A vapor barrier should be included under the slab.

In the summer, outside surfaces exposed to the direct rays of the sun may attain temperatures of 50 degrees F or more above shade temperatures and, of course, tend to transfer this heat toward the inside of the house. Insulation in the walls and in attic areas retards the flow of heat, improving summer comfort conditions.

Where air conditioning systems are used, insulation should be placed in all exposed ceilings and walls in the same manner as when insulating against cold weather heat loss. Shading of glass against direct rays of the sun and the use of insulated glass will aid in reducing the air conditioning load.

Ventilation of attic and roof spaces is an important addition to insulation. Without ventilation, an attic space may become very hot and hold the heat for many hours. Obviously, more heat will be transmitted through the ceiling when the attic temperature is 150 degrees F than if it is 100 degrees F to 120 degrees F. Ventilation methods suggested for protection against cold-weather condensation apply equally well to protection against excessive hot weather roof temperatures.

The use of storm windows or insulated glass will greatly reduce heat loss. Almost twice as much heat loss occurs through a single glass as through a window glazed with insulated glass or protected by a storm sash. Furthermore, double glass will normally prevent surface condensation and frost from forming on inner glass surfaces in winter. When excessive condensation persists, pain failures or even decay of the sash rail or other parts can occur.

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Comments (1)

I appreciate you supplying me with your wisdom on this most important subject. Insulating can be a money saver with a fair outlay of funds to get great results. Promoted since I am out of votes.