Fundamentals of insulation
There are many techniques for insulating your home. Cellulose insulation involves blowing fiberized newsprint into areas of a house at high pressure. Loose-fill installation blows the cellulose material onto the attic floor until a 10" to 18" blanket is established. For dense-pack installation, 3" circular holes are drilled into walls or floors, a tube is installed into the cavity, fiber material is blown into the enclosed cavity until it is filled, and holes are sealed and restored.
Loose-fill installation achieves a high R-value (resistance to heat flow) of R-3.8 per inch. Dense-pack installation achieves approximately R-3.6 per inch. At the following building components, installing cellulose insulation will improve energy efficiency and comfort:
Attic floor - loose-fill insulation
EPA Energy Star recommends at least R-49, approximately 14" of loose-fill cellulose, at the attic floor of homes in Connecticut. Attic insulation levels greater than R-49 will further re-enforce the thermal barrier between your living space and the attic.
Heat loss and wasted energy (and money) occur when heated air escapes the living space and enters the attic. Air sealing all penetrations and framing intersections at the attic floor and installing sealed covers over house fans, bath fans, recessed lighting cans, and attic stairs will effectively eliminate the waste.
Exterior walls - dense pack insulation.
Most walls are constructed with 2" x 4" studs, which provide 3.5 inches of space between the exterior sheathing (plywood) and interior sheetrock. Older homes typically have very little or no insulation within these spaces.
The contents of cellulose are simple: recycled newsprint reduced to cellulose fiber (83%); the naturally-occurring mineral, borate (16%); and mineral oil (1%). Borate contributes to superior flame retardancy, mold deterrence, and insecticide properties within the insulation. Mineral oil suppresses dust and enhances the bond between the fire retardant and cellulose fibers. That's it!
Cellulose insulation is not flammable, combustible, or explosive, and it presents no unusual hazard if involved in a fire. The dense fiber structure and fire retardants in cellulose insulation slow the spread of fire through a building, giving occupants more time to escape and firefighters more time to save the structure. Cellulose, when exposed to fire, produces negligible amounts of smoke, which also helps to prevent the loss of life in a structural fire.
Yes! You may be able to get up to 100% of Home Insulation Costs Covered through Home Energy Solutions! For a limited time, there is No Co-pay cost for HES and HES-Income Eligible (“HES-IE”) energy audit services.We have the expertise to find all the rebates, subsidies and loans you qualify for and our assessment is free as well. Get started now.
During an Home Energy Solutions (HES) visit, a utility-certified technician will evaluate your home’s energy performance and install energy-saving measures such as sealing air leaks and installing energy-efficient lighting, faucet aerators and low-flow showerheads. The technicians will also provide written recommendations for deeper energy -saving measures such as insulation, high-efficiency heating and cooling, water heating, windows and appliances. To help you in making smart energy choices, your recommendations will include information on rebates and financing along with payback and investment information specific to your home.
How to insulate for optimal energy efficiency
For optimal energy efficiency, your home should be properly insulated from the roof down to its foundation. The illustration above shows all the areas of the home where there should be insulation. The numbered areas shown in the illustration are as follows:
Average Time Needed: 360 minutes
Average Cost: USD 1000
Steps to configure the How-to module:
Insulate between and over the floor joists to seal off living spaces below. If the air distribution is in the attic space, then consider insulating the rafters to move the distribution into the conditioned space.
(1A) Attic access door
In finished attic rooms with or without dormer, insulate (2A) between the studs of "knee" walls, (2B) between the studs and rafters of exterior walls and roof, (2C) and ceilings with cold spaces above.
(2D) Extend insulation into joist space to reduce air flows.
All exterior walls, including (3A) walls between living spaces and unheated garages, shed roofs, or storage areas; (3B) foundation walls above ground level; (3C) foundation walls in heated basements, full wall either interior or exterior.
Floors above cold spaces, such as vented crawl spaces and unheated garages. Also insulate (4A) any portion of the floor in a room that is cantilevered beyond the exterior wall below; (4B) slab floors built directly on the ground; (4C) as an alternative to floor insulation, foundation walls of unvented crawl spaces. (4D) Extend insulation into joist space to reduce air flows.
Band joists are usually insulated with rigid foam insulating board.
Replacement or storm windows and caulk and seal around all windows and doors.