DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum (http://www.diychatroom.com/)
-   Insulation (http://www.diychatroom.com/f103/)
-   -   Increasing Home Efficency (http://www.diychatroom.com/f103/increasing-home-efficency-117332/)

matt151617 09-15-2011 03:45 PM

Increasing Home Efficency
 
I have an oil boiler and would like to save as much money as possible this winter. I'm in northern NY and it gets pretty cold. House is 1 story, built in the 1950s. Attic and basement are both unfinished and not used. There's R19 fiberglass insulation (with paper backing) on the basement ceiling and attic floor. The house gets pretty hot in the summer. There's new vinyl windows and doors in the whole house.

1. What would be the most cost-effective things to insulate/increase insulation on? What type of insulation should I use?

2. Basement walls are block and uninsulated. Should I insulate them?

3. Boiler and hot water pipes are uninsulated. Should I insulate them or is it good to let some heat into the basement?

HomeSealed 09-15-2011 04:13 PM

1. Insulate and airseal the attic.
2.Yes... although this is probably not the most pertinent issue in the basement, let alone the home. Insulate/airseal the sill boxes/rim joist first.
3.Insulation is good.

I'd highly recommend an energy audit. This would give you a detailed report of the problem spots in your home and the results that you could see by addressing them. It will help you prioritize the projects on a cost vs benefit basis.They typically cost $2-$400, however, many states have rewards programs where you can get cash back based on the improvements and performance achieved thereafter. In WI, most homeowners get more back than they spend on the audit itself with the Focus on Energy program.

1910NE 09-15-2011 05:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by matt151617 (Post 728945)
I have an oil boiler and would like to save as much money as possible this winter. I'm in northern NY and it gets pretty cold. House is 1 story, built in the 1950s. Attic and basement are both unfinished and not used. There's R19 fiberglass insulation (with paper backing) on the basement ceiling and attic floor. The house gets pretty hot in the summer. There's new vinyl windows and doors in the whole house.

1. What would be the most cost-effective things to insulate/increase insulation on? What type of insulation should I use?

2. Basement walls are block and uninsulated. Should I insulate them?

3. Boiler and hot water pipes are uninsulated. Should I insulate them or is it good to let some heat into the basement?

1) Attic seal and R value increase, as mentioned
2) How deep is the basement? I personally think it's a waste of time to insulate below the frost line. Definitely insulate the sill though..
4) I wouldn't bother. A warm basement is only going to contribute to a warm 1st floor.

matt151617 09-16-2011 12:27 AM

Basement is about 7 feet, about 6 feet of it is below the ground. I was told it stays in the mid 50s without additional heating.

Thanks for the info on the energy audit. New York offers free ones, I looked it up and submitted the paperwork.

What's the best way to add more insulation to the attic? Additional rolled fiberglass? Or blow-in?

Windows on Wash 09-16-2011 08:55 AM

+1

To the previous comments and recommendations.

Blow in (cellulose) is best.

HomeSealed 09-16-2011 09:40 AM

Agreed on blown-in cellulose.... That is great that you can get the audit for free. Do you know if they do a post test as well? That really insures that the installations are effective.

matt151617 09-17-2011 01:31 PM

Not sure if they'll do a post test or not.

I researched blown-in, it would be about $700 to have a professional do it, and $450 to do it myself. Lowes has rolls of R-30 right now for $10, so this would be the cheapest option for me; add another layer of insulation sideways across the existing attic insulation.

As far as the basement; at some point I plan on finishing it. What exactly should I insulate now? With the pipes uninsulated and below the floor insulation, it seems like that heat will mostly be wasted. Do I just stuff fiberglass insulation into the gap between the floor and the start of the foundation blocks?

DoItMyselfToo 09-17-2011 03:00 PM

The rim joist (space between basement ceiling joists) should be air sealed. This can be achieved using Great Stuff Pro applied using a professional reusable gun. You can get the gun at HD for $40 and the cartridges for ~$9 each. Spray in the crack (corner) all away around and then use fiberglass batts for R value. I've also read using XPS cut to fit and pressed tight against rim joist. And then foam
Any gap all away around.

Attic should be air sealed. And then insulated. Blowing cellulose will be easier yo do than fiberglass bats in the attic. Remember, the value is in every tiny detail. Blown cellulose will fill gaps that are very hard to fill using fiberglass.

You should probably go to www.buildingscience.com for lots of detailed possible solutions for your zone.

Leah Frances 09-17-2011 03:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 1910NE (Post 729046)
1) Attic seal and R value increase, as mentioned
2) How deep is the basement? I personally think it's a waste of time to insulate below the frost line. Definitely insulate the sill though..
4) I wouldn't bother. A warm basement is only going to contribute to a warm 1st floor.

1910NE, I respectfully disagree based on my own experience. We have an oil fired boiler with single pipe steam. We had a toasty warm basement - I dropped a big chunk of change to insulate all the supply pipes with solid 2-4 inch thick insulation. This has saved us a MASSIVE amount of money - we've recouped the cost of insulation AND our oil consumption dropped in half (and we actually keep the house warmer than we did that first winter).

I'd rather have more money in the bank, a warmer house, and a cool basement - the basement never gets colder than 58 degrees in my zone anyway - even when the air temp is in the teens.

Msradell 09-17-2011 03:19 PM

Insulating the rim joints should be your first priority in the basement.:thumbsup:

Leah Frances 09-17-2011 03:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Msradell (Post 730173)
Insulating the rim joints should be your first priority in the basement.:thumbsup:

:laughing::laughing::laughing: @Msradell I'm agreeing with you a lot today. :thumbup::thumbup:

Windows on Wash 09-17-2011 04:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Leah Frances (Post 730169)
1910NE, I respectfully disagree based on my own experience. We have an oil fired boiler with single pipe steam. We had a toasty warm basement - I dropped a big chunk of change to insulate all the supply pipes with solid 2-4 inch thick insulation. This has saved us a MASSIVE amount of money - we've recouped the cost of insulation AND our oil consumption dropped in half (and we actually keep the house warmer than we did that first winter).

I'd rather have more money in the bank, a warmer house, and a cool basement - the basement never gets colder than 58 degrees in my zone anyway - even when the air temp is in the teens.

+1

Heating the basement is like heating the Earth and is not necessary.

matt151617 09-19-2011 09:33 PM

Went out today and bought $40 worth of pipe insulation and did all the boiler and domestic hot water pipes. The rim joist is difficult to get to, there's a board covering it for some reason. But it's full of R19.

I crawled up the attic today (heard a weird noise up there last night and wanted to see if there's any animals up there). There seems to be tar paper/felt under the insulation. Then there's R19 batts (unfaced) on top of that. Over the sunroom (which has good vinyl windows and was used year-round by the previous owners) there's no insulation! No vapor barrier, nothing, just plain drywall.

So what's my best approach to insulating the attic properly? It's a very low attic and difficult to move around in. A few spots (going to sunroom) require lying on your stomach and sliding on the plank walkways. I don't think a rolled up batt would even fit. Should I hire someone to do blown-in?

Windows on Wash 09-19-2011 11:34 PM

Blown in is probably best.

What is the attic venting like?

matt151617 09-19-2011 11:52 PM

I could see sunlight under the eves in a few spots (soffit vents I'm guessing). There's 2 vents in the attic ceiling also. It was about 65 and sunny here today and the attic was probably about 80.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:26 PM.


Copyright 2003-2014 Escalate Media LP. All Rights Reserved