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AverageJoe
Insulation Cost Analysis

Of the following insulation projects, which will yield the highest efficiency / highest return on investment?

  • * Blown cellulose into exterior walls
  • * Insulate basement walls
  • * Insulate basement ceiling
  • * Bring attic insulation to R-60
  • * Insulate kneewall flats with R-30

If the exterior walls have no insulation, is it possible to blow insulation up the cavities from the basement (instead of going from the outside)? I have access to the cavities from the basement.

Quick Background Information:
Our house, located in New Hampshire, is a small cape with a full basement. This past winter, our energy bills (elec. / oil) were extremely high and this year we want to reduce costs and better insulate our home.

We had a professional energy audit, but the company will not return our calls / answer our emails now, when we try to find out which improvements should be done in which order, keeping cost in mind (as we’ll probably have to do the improvements as time / money permits).

Thank you for your time and help.

canuk
Re: Insulation Cost Analysis

* Bring attic insulation to R-60
* Insulate kneewall flats with R-30
* Blown cellulose into exterior walls

These would be the main areas with equal importance.

* Insulate basement walls

This will add benefit as well though the basement will maintain a somewhat constant temperature in the 50's to low 60's degree on it's own.
However .... it does definitely help to insulate the basement walls in preventing heat loss from the basement and cold infiltration through the basement walls.

* Insulate basement ceiling

In my opinion this returns little benefit since warm air rises which is advantageous for the upper floor.

One area that is critical is the perimeter rim of the floor where it sits on the foundation. Insulation at this area definitely needs to be applied.

Quote:

If the exterior walls have no insulation, is it possible to blow insulation up the cavities from the basement (instead of going from the outside)? I have access to the cavities from the basement.

Sounds as though you have an older home that is balloon framed?
If so if there is knob and tube wiring present you will need to have this addressed since it can't be covered over with insulation.

You will need to discuss this with an insulation contractor .... I think it would be tricky to do it that way because of gravity.

Another area to mention is the heating equipment.
Without discussing the efficiency of the equipment itself but rather improving the delivery of heat from the system.

If you have forced air heat sealing the duct work and insulating them will improve the efficiency.

With hot water piping would likely benefit from insulating the pipes.

Just some thoughts. :)

canuk
Re: Insulation Cost Analysis

Another area of consideration I forgot to mention .... sealing air leakage around places like windows and penetrations into the attic from things like plumbing vents also electrical.

AverageJoe
Re: Insulation Cost Analysis

canuk, thank you very much for your input. This will certainly help me decide which projects to do, as well as their order.

Shubi
Re: Insulation Cost Analysis

I agree with Canuk's recomendations. I might add that there is a free program which you can download from waptac.com that will assist in determining savings to investment ratios (SIR)of weatherization measures. The NEAT (National Energy Audit Tool)audit is a large program, but is not overly complicated to learn. It takes all measures into consideration and provides individual SIR's for each proposed measure.

foammaster
Re: Insulation Cost Analysis

you should check with Mike from New Hampshire foam. he works with some energy audit people and he sprays polyurathane, and injection foam

NHfoam.com
injectionfoam.com

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