It's the Insulation!


Old 11-22-99, 02:28 PM
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I have come to the conclusion that there is a lot of window and door replacement going on that is entirely unnecessary, unless it is for the sake of improving a home's appearance. Window and door replacement, unless you have a lot of them in your home, does little for energy savings. I have been in homes with brand new top/end Certain-teed vinyl windows or wooden Marvins and Andersons, yet they have no insulation in their walls, and barely the equivalent R-20 in their attics.

Not to mention all the cracks in the plaster in the upstairs ceilings, and no "ceiling" to speak in some closets. This being in Connecticut!

Folks, the first, and probably only step you have to take to ensure year-round home comfort is to conduct an insulation survey of your home. A professional can do this for you and also give you the R(heat transfer/resistance)- Value for your floor, walls, and overheads. For CT, I know that I should have at least R-20 in the walls, and R-39 in the attic. The floor over a cellar should be R-6 or more, but over a crawl space or a cliff, should be R-14 or higher.

Maintaining these insulation values, plus making sure the highest overhead plane in your home(upstairs bedroom ceilings) are sealed solid. Replace old cracked plaster ceilings with 5/8" sheetrock instead of 1/2"inch, and insulate the attic above as recommended. This will improve your year-round comfort dramatically. Even if you still have those old single-pane woods with storms over them!

I should also recommend looking for any "holes" or cracks in the ouside to inside transition zones in your home - the trim around doors and windows, door sills, antenna lead-ins, etc. Stuffing pipe-fitter's insulation into outside walls where plumbing comes in is also an energy saver, especially in that older home.

For your doors, you can usually get away with adhesive closed foam weather stripping around where the door meets
the jamb, or purchase those wood strips with the foam pre mounted, and cut them to fit your doors.

You may print out these suggestions and take them to a Pergament or Home Depot, they can suggest little details to make it all work for you, as well as tips on vapor barrier
faced insulation and other necessities.

Windows? Well, if they are chopping your knuckles, painted shut, panes cracked, paint peeling, look plain awful, storms slipping out of tracks and falling outside, yeah, I'd say it's time for replacements. Otherwise, don't strain the wallet.
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Old 12-02-99, 02:49 PM
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I completely agree with eberything mentioned in this post.

However, I am seeing comments on vapor barriers prior to insulation installation.

Is this necessary in the attic. Am looking at buying a house and it will need additional insulation in the attic. However, there is already blown in present...just not enough. It sounds so simple to just blow in additional it!?!?!

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