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Wondering what some people have for insulation in their homes.

Post in 'The Green Room' started by Mad Tom, Oct 22, 2011.

  1. Mad Tom

    Mad Tom Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2010
    Messages:
    239
    Loc:
    Vermont
    Most homes homes up here in VT I have run into have r30 in their attics. Maybe r19 in walls. I find a lot of uninsulated areas in basements. I find a lot of places to be under insulated. How about an overlay to R60 in the attic? It is a good idea and not to expensive to boost things up to keep you warmer with a little extra insulation. I assume most folks here in the green room have and are looking into better ways to save money and most likely know to well insulate. It seems in reading some of the other forums in the past people complain of drafty and cold homes and they think the solution is to install a wood stove. I think people would be better steered to home improvements instead of what stove to install, then look into alternative heat sources.

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  2. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    R21 walls R60 attic R10 around foundation.
  3. laynes69

    laynes69 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    Messages:
    1,809
    Loc:
    Ashland OH
    Our walls were insulated with urea-formaldehyde foam in '79. Our walls are around 8" thick. Some of the foam was kept in the walls in great shape and others was removed with fiberglass put in its place. As we redo each room of the house, careful attention is placed on air sealing before insulating. We did add about 12" on top of the 3" of cellulose and air sealed the attic in the process. Huge difference! I'm always looking for ways to save money on energy and wood for that matter. I agree it doesn't make sense to use a wood stove as a band-aid to cover up problems in a home. Not only does it require a larger stove, you burn alot more wood. Tightening up a home and insulating saves money year after year as well as increased comfort. I always recommend energy upgrades first if needed.
  4. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    15,971
    Loc:
    Anderson, Indiana
    I have r60 in the attack r 19 in the wall (already there) Tiger foam 3 inch's in ream joist and cinder blocks.
  5. DBoon

    DBoon Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    Messages:
    778
    Loc:
    Central NY
    I insulated my house some on my own (attic, basement floors) with fiberglass batts, and some with contractors. It is a 1250 square foot one story house.

    Attic - 8" additional fiberglass, ~$600, and one day of time
    Basement - 6" fiberglass batts, ~$400-500, and one day of time
    Walls - hired a contractor to blow 4" (old 4" walls) of fiberglass dense pack in - ~$2000
    Basement above-grade foundation walls and top of concrete foundation - 2" of closed cell foam ~$2000

    I probably should have gone with only 1" of close cell foam, but I wanted to make sure that my basement never freezes - it gets pretty cold around here in the wintertime.

    Before insulating, fuel oil gallons consumed per year ~1000
    After attic and basement floor insulation, ~700 gallons per year
    After wall and above ground foundation wall insulation, ~550 gallons/year

    You definitely get the most bang for your buck with attic and floor insulation first, but you get a lot of comfort from insulated walls.
  6. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
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    2,024
    Loc:
    The island of Rhum Boogie
    r50 in the attic and r19 in the walls. Just about right for our neck of the woods.
  7. benjamin

    benjamin Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2009
    Messages:
    695
    Loc:
    SW WI
    Cellulose, hopefully dense packed?, 7.5" in the walls and 11" in the ceiling. Slab on grade with nothing underneath but 3-4" of foam extending at least 4' below the footing and up the foundation to the cellulose.

    Air leakage, which gets you many times over what lack of insulation does, is relatively bad through the first floor details and attic door. The second floor is probably much tighter.

    I agree entirely that tightening up a house has great payback. I'm always amazed when I see how much wood some people burn. You don't need a $30,000 total insulation retrofit and new windows if you're burning too much wood, you need to seal the basement and attic leaks with $100 worth of foam and caulk and a whole lot of PITA work.
  8. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    8,811
    Loc:
    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    When we bought the 1965 built home the floor had zero insulation, walls have R-5 batts, and ceiling was 6" batts which should be R19. I have since insulated the floor (crawlspace) to R-19 with batts, and the attic to R38 with blown in. We also replaced the loose single pane aluminum framed windows with new estar doubel pane windows which made a huge difference. The floors are much warmer.

    Still have R-5 batts in the 2x4 walls.

    Nothing wrong with buying a stove big enough to overcome the heat losses of poor insulation as a first step. First priority is to be warm and alive while you make further insulation improvements, and then you can always downsize your stove later.
  9. Wallyworld

    Wallyworld Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    Messages:
    205
    Loc:
    Downeast
    The original part of my house has 1.5 inches of urethane foam on the face of the rafters and r30 glass between them, the walls have 1" of urethane foam on face of studs and r19 between them. I built an addition 7 or 8 years ago, 3.5 inches of foam and r30 fiber in rafters and 1" foam on studs with cut and fit foam between for 6.5inches of foam in walls. I have no heat in this addition other than passive solar, gets chilly at times but perfect for sleeping. I burn 100 gallons of oil in spring and fall, 2 to3 cord once the stove can go 24/7.
    My new shop, 30 by 34, 2 inches of foam on outside of studs, sheathing over that, r-19 fiber in between the studs. 2 inches of foam under the trusses, r40 cellulose on top. 2" styrofoam under radiant slab, radiant heat supplied by a builditsolar copied solar panel, 9 by 15 on south facing wall. Lowest temp I saw last winter was 46 in there with no other heat. I do have a stove in there but rarely use it
  10. Fi-Q

    Fi-Q Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    Messages:
    256
    Loc:
    Bonaventure, Quebec
    Build a new house 3 years ago:

    8 In double studded wall with combination of enermax sheating with strapping for R-36
    20 in of blown cellulose in the attic for R-60
    2.5 In of spray foam on basement wall & the basement to 1st floor Joist & 1st to 2nd floor joit for approx R14
    4 In of foam underneath the basement slab (Eventually the tubing in it will be hooked to a boiler for radiant) for R20
    Low E, E Star double pane windows.

    House is really tight. Planning to buy a good heat exchanger.

    House is far to be finished..... long way to go, but it's ok, longer it take, more I can save on the mortage.
  11. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    3,217
    Loc:
    Holliston, MA USA
    I documented some of the recent insulation work we had done in the energy audit thread....


    Basement - nothing

    Walls:
    Most of the first floor is either renovated space that has FG batts or old plaster with cellulose blown in. Id guess its all around R10. Those wall cavities are only 3 in deep.
    The second floor gable ends only have 1950s vintage Kimsul bats... maybe R5 (The cellulose guy was afraid blowing them would blow out the drywall).

    Cielings:
    Mostly between R20 and R40 Id guess. The small cathedral over the kitchen is 2x10 w/ fibergalss. The dining room is R19 fiberglass with 6in of cellulose on top (maybe R40ish). the rest of the ceilings have dense pack cellulose - 5 in on slopes and 8 in on the flat areas.


    I've done a lot of air sealing - but its an old hose and a lot of the leaks are impossible to get to.


    Overall its not much by modern standards, but when I moved in there were air gaps in the attic you could climb through and many surfaces with no insulation at all. I'm excited to see what a difference all the work makes this winter.
  12. FGZ

    FGZ Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2010
    Messages:
    78
    Loc:
    N.Shore MA
    Sweet, data! That's great to hear, because after my home energy audit last Saturday I'm going after rim joists to keep the basement air out of my walls, and a few big gaps up in the attic to keep my heat from escaping up there. After that I need to spend a lot of time with a caulk gun, but I'm way excited to get moving on this since it pays for itself so fast.
  13. DBoon

    DBoon Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    Messages:
    778
    Loc:
    Central NY
    I also put a bead of clear silicon on all of the rim joists in the basement. Not sure how much this helped, but every little bit contributes. With air sealing, there is usually no one huge contributor, but a lot that all contribute a little.

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