At A.Johnson, we believe in the benefits of cellulose insulation. Insulation strikes the perfect balance of high performance while mitigating heating and cooling costs. However, proper insulation installations must occur for homeowners to enjoy these benefits. For example, our method of spraying or injecting cellulose into cavities at high densities ensures that it achieves a tight air barrier, without the voids or gaps of conventional insulation. This air barrier also blocks the flow of moisture, since airflow accounts for 98% of moisture transfer and helps ensure your home remains resistant to rot, mold, and condensation-related problems.
For more, many home comfort experts, including energy audit and HVAC companies share plenty of insulation installation tips. To help homeowners understand why proper installation makes a huge difference in achieving the promised benefits of insulation, we rounded up some helpful tips.
“Insulation doesn’t work with air flowing through it. Don’t even consider adding insulation without addressing air leaks first! Air leakage, or infiltration, occurs when outside air enters a house uncontrollably through cracks, gaps, and openings. Most homes have the equivalent of a large open window in combined air leaks in their attic alone! Many air leaks and drafts are easy to find because they are easy to feel — like those around windows and doors. But holes hidden in attics, basements, and crawl spaces are more difficult and a bigger problem. Frequently, warm air generated by the heating system rises into the attic around recessed lights, ceiling fans, attic access doors, and registers. Unfortunately, the homeowner pays for this heat in their attic! This is not something any of us want to do.”
“Determine if you have insulation. It’s easy to confirm whether or not you have attic insulation—usually loose fill between ceiling joists or exposed batts of colored fiberglass. You can also check your exterior walls for a series of patched holes. This is a tell-tale sign of blown-in insulation. Old houses can be drafty places, and warm air can leak from a multitude of areas. Check and see where you may be losing heat in your house. Chimneys and fireplaces without working dampers are typical. Other areas to consider are air leaks through cracks around windows, ducts, electrical outlets, and recessed lighting. Note that the primary site of heat loss is through the top of the house. Heat rises and can escape through roofs that are not adequately insulated.”
“Change your HVAC filters monthly, especially when the system is active during the winter. Not only will it help air quality, but you’ll also keep your system running more efficiently than it would if the filters were congested. Clear obstructions like tables and furniture away from vents too, to maximize the flow of air throughout the room. Learn more about maintaining your furnace, and winterizing your water heater too.”
“Insulation will last for the life of the house, and it won’t ever wear out or need maintenance. When the right insulation is installed in the right way, it will perform just as well in 50 years as it does right after installation.”
“Seal around window and door jambs with expanding spray foam. The main purpose of the spray foam is to seal the space around the window to prevent air infiltration. Use foam that’s labeled for window and door insulating. This ‘minimal-expanding’ type reduces the chance of warping the jamb. If there’s still space around the window after the foam cures, lightly stuff the remaining space with strips of fiberglass insulation.”
“Window film adds a layer of cold-blocking plastic that reduces heat loss by around 10%. It comes in sheets you cut to size, tape to the window glass, and then heat with a blow dryer to fit snugly and smoothly. It won’t block natural light, so you can have your sunshine and your insulated window, too. You can also use this on sliding glass doors. Make sure to clean your windows first, or the adhesive on the film may not stick.”
“Use rubber weatherstripping to fill the spaces between the sides and bottom of your door and the door frame. If the space between the bottom of the door and your floor is extra large, you can use a double draft stopper. This is primarily two cylindrical pieces of foam that slide on to the front and back of your door to prevent drafts from seeping in under the door itself. It is very effective at preventing cold air from coming into your home in the winter, and can easily be slid on and off for convenience.”
“When remodeling, one of the best and fastest ways to insulate is using blown-in insulation. Blown-in insulation, when installed with the dense pack technique, will offer superior air sealing. It can be installed easily, reducing the amount of preparation needed. If you’re remodeling and your wall cavities will be open, look into two-part spray foam or wet spray cellulose insulation. If you are building a new home, then there are many alternatives to choose from, including structural insulated panels, insulating concrete forms, and insulated concrete blocks. All of these materials are considered insulating materials as they are manufactured with the purpose of increasing R values on a building. If you’re building a traditional framed house, consider using advanced wall framing techniques. These techniques improve the whole-wall R-value by reducing thermal bridging and maximizing the insulated wall area.”
“First, we understand that home insulation works by blocking external air from entering your home. For example, during the winter, insulation keeps the cold Capital District air outside. At the same time, insulation keeps the warm (heated) air inside your home. As a result, proper insulation installation remains imperative to improving your home comfort. And at the heart of installation lies R factor insulation. Experienced HVAC techs and insulation installers start with the r-value, which measures a material’s resistance to conductive heat flow. R-Value measures (or rates) the thermal resistance of insulation, which means the higher the R-value, the greater the insulating effectiveness.”
“To make your new home energy-efficient, besides adding cavity insulation, add an exterior sheathing material. In cold climates, add a rigid foam board over the external sheathing before siding goes on in climates that require it. Caulk joints to prevent air leaks. While insulation provides thermal resistance to hot and cold, it does not prevent the movement of air. In climate zones that are more temperate, add an external vapor barrier in place of the rigid foam. Add insulation to interior walls as well. Besides helping to insulate interior spaces, it also helps to deaden sound.”
“Choose the right type of insulation for the job. Insulation comes in a few different varieties, and the type you choose will depend on your budget and where you’re adding the insulation. The most common types of insulation are rolls and batts (typically for wall studs and attic or floor joists), loose-fill (typically for areas that are difficult to insulate), rigid foam (typically for interior and exterior sheathing) and foam-in-place (typically for walls, attic surfaces and under floors).”
“If you’re still not satisfied with the drafts in your house, it might be time to look at replacing and/or installing more insulation. Whether you can install insulation on your own depends on your comfort level and the type of insulation. Depending on your floor, you can cut pieces of rigid insulation to fit in between the floor joists. You then caulk where the insulation and the joists meet. If there is a ceiling underneath the floor, blown insulation can fill the gap, although you may want to have a professional do the installation if you aren’t comfortable doing it yourself. Blown insulation can be used to fill in the cracks anywhere.”
“The simplest and cheapest way to insulate an attic is to add material to the floor. But if the floor is covered in plywood, you can’t stuff enough insulation beneath it to do the job sufficiently—not even in warm climates. Plan to pull up the flooring and layer new insulation on top of the old. With the floor gone, you’ll have to find a spot elsewhere for stashing those off-season clothes and that holiday decor.”
If you have some “cold wall” in your home, usually concrete wall with no or with bad insulation you can build 10–15 centimeter (3.9–5.9 in) thick dry wall to it. Process is very simple, you can choose between Ytong wall or plasterboard wall. Plasterboard wall is very simple to build and you can add very good and very cheap Glass wool into it. Glass wool is an excellent insulator but you can get glass wool for soundproofing. Both kinds of walls are fire-resistant.
To learn more about proper insulation installation and how to reduce your energy costs, contact the home energy experts at A.Johnson today.