HVAC NEWS & INFORMATION

Is Poor Home Insulation Causing Cold, Hard to Heat Rooms?

Posted by Ohio Heating

Feb 20, 2017 2:00:00 PM

If you and your family are suffering from cold hard to heat rooms, the problem may not be your HVAC system. It may be your home's insulation. The most efficient heating system can't function properly if the home doesn't have enough insulation for maximum energy efficiency. You should effectively insulate your home from the roof to the foundation. Places for home insulation are: unfinished attic space; finished attic rooms; all exterior walls; floors above cold spaces; band joists; and storm windows.

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Attic Insulation

Loose-fill or batt insulation will typically be installed in at attic, where loose-fill is less expensive and offers better coverage.

In order to determine if you have enough attic insulation, measure the insulation’s thickness. More insulation may be added if it is measured less than R-30, which is 11 inches of fiberglass or rock wool or 8 inches of cellulose.

Vertical walls with attic space directly behind them may be insulated and air sealed. If you are remodeling or are building a new home, be sure that any attic decking, which provides additional storage space or is used as a platform for an HVAC system or a hot water tank, is raised above the ceiling hoists to have space for effective insulation. A radiant barrier may be installed to decrease summer heat intake if you live in a hot or warm environment.

Duct Insulation

Be sure to seal and insulate ducts if they are installed in unconditional space.Ductwork defects can cause lots of problems. A typical home has about 20 to 30 percent of the air that moves through the system lost due to leaks, holes, and poorly connected ducts.

Cathedral Ceiling Insulation

Ceiling temperatures will be similar to room temperatures if cathedral ceilings are properly insulated; thus a balanced temperature will be distributed throughout the house. Space between the roof deck and the house’s ceiling must be available in cathedral ceilings for proper insulation and ventilation, which can be obtained by using truss joints, scissor truss framing, or large rafters.

Hot roof designs permit greater insulation to be installed in the roof cavity as vent space is no longer needed. The roof cavity is required to be completely air sealed from the conditioned space below to avoid moisture accumulation and roof degradation. Ceilings that do not have attics are frequently insulated with foil-faced batt because it generates the appropriate permeability rating. To maintain ventilation, a vent baffle needs to be installed between the insulation and the roof.

Rigid foam insulation may be applied beneath the rafters to add R-value and to prevent thermal bridging through wood rafters. Rigid insulation needs to be protected with a fire-rated material, such as half-inch drywall, when applied inside of a building

Exterior Wall Insulation

You may need to add insulation to your exterior walls if your house is too cold in the winter and too warm in the summer when the attic has been properly insulated and air sealed. Exterior wall insulation can become expensive but is beneficial if living in a cold environment. Insulation can be added simultaneously when replacing exterior siding

Blow-in insulation may be used on an existing house to offer adequate air sealing when installed using the dense pack method. This may be added to the house’s exterior walls without interruption to already finished areas.

Insulated panels, insulated concrete forms, and insulated concrete blocks can all be applied to existing houses because they have built in insulation. Houses that use these insulation materials have exceptional insulating capabilities with minimal thermal bridging.

Using insulating wall sheathing instead if wood sheathing materials will provide higher R-values.

Insulating Floors above Unheated Garages

All possible leaking areas must be sealed when insulating floors located above unconditioned garages. This is beneficial because the danger of contaminants in both the garage and the conditioned space is reduced. An air barrier can also be installed to avoid short circuiting the insulation beneath the sub floor from cold air entering.  

Foundation Insulation

An adequately insulated foundation will keep both heating costs low and rooms which are below-grade more comfortable while preventing moisture issues, insect infestation, and radon infiltration.

Basement Insulation

Effective basement insulation will reduce heating costs and will prove comfort without moisture. The following guidelines should be followed when installing basement insulation:

For new construction:

  • Minimize thermal bridging and heat loss
  • Protect the damp-proof coating
  • Reduce moisture/condensation accumulation
  • Reduce interior temperature fluctuation
  • Conserve room space

For existing houses:

  • Install interior insulation rather than exterior.
  • Insect infestation will be prevented.

Consider these guidelines when installing interior basement wall insulation:

  • Insulation often requires a fire-rated covering
  • Interior space will be decreased by several inches
  • Damp-roof coating will not be protected
  • Insulation may moisten if exterior drainage is ineffective
  • Excellent air-sealing details with vapor diffusion retarders are crucial

For R-values for basement walls, consider the following:

  • Blanket insulation
  • Insulating concrete blocks
  • Foam board insulation
  • Insulating concrete forms
  • Loose-fill insulation
  • Sprayed foam insulation

Moisture prevention is significant for basement insulation in order to prevent water accumulation, humidity, and mold.

Slab-on-Grade Insulation

An insulated slab will be easier to heat, and temperature can be easier to gauge when placing the slab’s mass within your house’s thermal envelope. Insulating the slab’s exterior may reduce heating costs by 10% to 20%. 

Ohio Heating & Air Conditioning has the knowledge and resources to help you solve your heating and cooling problems. From cold, hard to heat rooms to improving your indoor air quality, we have become a leading heating and cooling company Columbus OH and Central OH.

With Bryant as our marque line of equipment, we are able to offer competitive prices on custom systems. They have awarded us their highest certification as a Bryant factory authorized dealer.

From a basic furnace or thermostats to a high end, energy efficient system with zone control, we have an intelligent indoor climate solution that's right for you and your budget.

Ohio Heating & Air Conditioning can provide complete services for you and your family. Whether for repair, maintenance, installation or replacement, choose Ohio Heating & Air Conditioning. We have the experience to meet all of your heating and cooling needs. Complete customer satisfaction is one of our top priorities. We can deliver the quality and comfort your family deserves.

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Topics: ductwork defects, duct insulation, furnace repair, Home Insulation

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