Underfloor Insulation

underfloor insulation, attic insulation, basement insulation, insulation r value, rockwool insulation

Underfloor Insulation

After attic and wall insulation one of the best places to save energy is by placement of underfloor insulation. Find out why in this article.

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Most often the importance of insulating a floor space is overlooked by may homeowners seeking to super-insulate their home.

Priority is often just placed on attics, ceilings and walls. It is a fact that a great deal of energy can be lost through the floor as well.

With up to 15% to 25% of total energy lost through floor structures, a substantial amount of savings can be realized by addressing heat loss through a home's floors.

This is of such great importance that if you are seeking green home certification of your home, insulation of the home floor is a must do!

Now we are not speaking of floors that are spanning over heated spaces, such as a finished basement, where insulation is often used for soundproofing.

We are addressing floors that span over unheated spaces, such as crawl spaces or slabs on grade. Insulation placed in these floor spaces can save a considerable amount of energy.

Underfloor Insulation - Seal and Insulation With The Energy Star Guide

Underfloor Insulation - Seal and Insulation With The Energy Star Guide

Underfloor Insulation - What Types Can Be Used?

In insulating our floor structures, there are many insulation types available to choose from. The type of insulation you ultimately decide to use will depend on several factors such as: how accessible the floors are, how much ductwork and wiring is in the insulation spaces and last but not least, budget concerns.

While insulating an existing home floor can present its share of challenges, floor insulation for homes during the construction phase is really easy and quite economical.

Underfloor Insulation - Care Must Be Taken With Recessed Light Fixtures

Underfloor Insulation - Care Must Be Taken With Recessed Light Fixtures

Underfloor Insulation - What Types Can Be Used?

Batt Insulation or Batting: This is the typical insulation used for attic spaces. It comes in rolls or batt slabs and is made from fiberglass, cotton or rockwool.

Insulating with batts has historically been one of the most cost-effective measures you can use.

Some of the disadvantages for batt insulation include: difficulty in placement in tight areas, around pipes, ducts, wires , etc., and air-tight placement.

Another disadvantage of placing batts is any compression realized during its placement reduces the effectiveness or r-value ratings and reduces the amount of energy you save.

Underfloor Insulation

Underfloor Insulation - Air Leak Effects

Underfloor Insulation - Rigid Foam Board:

Most often available in 4 x 8 rigid sheets, rigid foam board is often backed will a foil face. Installation is quite easy as it can be measured and cut outside of the insulation work area.

Fitting the rigid boards around ducts, wires, pipes and other obstructions can be very challenging and often require excessive crack-filling operations, reducing its cost effectiveness and r-value.

Products used to fill in the cracks and seams include: tape, silicone or spray foam, with the spray foam products giving the best insulating performance and crack filling ability.

Underfloor Insulation - Blown-In Insulation:

If you have areas that are hard to reach and lots of obstructions, blown insulation may be just the ticket for you. This is often the underfloor insulation of choice for existing homes.

It will provide a perfect seal around all obstructions, including pipes, wires and ductwork. However, it does have a bit of a downside in that it is more costly and will take longer to obtain a payback.

Also because of the specialized equipment that is required, it is best installed by a professional insulation installer.

Underfloor Insulation - Sealing With Foam Insulation

Underfloor Insulation - Sealing Pipes With Foam Sealant

Underfloor Insulation - What Types Can Be Used? R-Values of Underfloor Insulation:

Insulation factors of all types of insulation utilized the thermal resistance factor or R value.

The R value numbers indicate higher values for better insulation values. When choosing any insulation, and especially in choosing underfloor insulation, pay close attention to the R-value of the product, don't rely just on appearances or density of the product.

The insulation types indicated above all have insulation R-values somewhere between 3.5 and 4.0 for each inch of thickness and will do a very good job on insulation.

Whatever your space constraints are will determine which insulation type is best for your new green home.

All of the insulation in your home, including underfloor insulation will work in concert to bring you a more comfortable space year around that will save energy by lowering your utility bills and preventing drafts.

Other insulation articles you may be interested in:

Blown Attic Insulation
Blown Cellulose Insulation
Green Insulation
Insulation Types
Rockwool Insulation
Soy Insulation
Spray Foam Insulation

DOE Recomended Levels of Insulation

Department of Energy Recommended Insulation Levels Map