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Basement Ceiling Insulation

1073 Views 3 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Bud9051
I am insulating the ceiling of my unfinished basement using faced insulation. Should I install it paper face to the ceiling or should it be paper face out towards me? The basement ceiling is the first levels floor.
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Hi JP, what is your climate, warm, or cold and snowy?
In a cold climate, if you have your furnace in the basement along with water pipes it can be better to insulate the perimeter walls and allow the basement temperature to rise.

In most climates, the need for a real vapor barrier has diminished. Codes are now saying the far north and the deep south. All other areas the VB is less important. What is important is air sealing and you would certainly want to do that before adding insulation. One of the primary problem areas is the rim where the house rests on the foundation, cold air often pours in.

Basements are often indirectly heated by virtue of the ducts and pipes down there so it is assumed there is little heat loss. In reality, the rim and foundation are among the biggest points of heat loss. A concrete wall and a single pane of glass are about the same. So, insulating the walls (and sealing the house to foundation air leaks) results in a much warmer basement, reducing your heating costs and giving you warmer floors.

The catch 22 here is, adding fiberglass batts also needs a good rigid air barrier, which the kraft facing does not provide. Without the air barrier, air infiltration into the basement finds its way up through the house giving you cooler (than you anticipated) floors. What is not obvious in any good home is the amount of air leakage they have. A typical good home will still replace (on average) all of the inside air every 3 hours. Less than that and the house will have moisture problems. A leaky home completes that exchange in 2 hours.

Here's some reading:

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