The last quarter of the year is already on the horizon, and with it, the onset of winter. The looming season can be seen as adequate rationale to batter down the insulation once more to protect your house’s indoor temperatures. Making sure everything’s locked in will require the assistance of professionals such as Lakeside Advanced Builders of Duluth.
The Big R
Home insulation strategies hinge the most on determining the right R-value (the resistance to heat flow) for each section of the property. In many cases, this will also require studying the Minnesota State Residential Energy Code to accurately gauge the values. This is critical considering Duluth’s northern location. How well the home is air sealed is just as important as the insulation. Piles of insulation will not work without correct air sealing. The only way to verify how well the home is sealed is to do a blower door test. This test combined with an infrared camera will tell you how much the house is leaking and where it is leaking.
According to the Code, insulation for the ceiling should have their R-value at least R-44; that insulation may even account for batt insulation in the attic, in case you have no intentions to use the entire space in the future. If your house’s walls have a wooden structure, the insulation value must be at least R-19. The flooring’s R-value should be no less than R-30, while basement/crawl space wall insulation will have to be over R-10. Remember, these codes are minimums. Do you want a minimum home? Is your home tested?
One example of properly installing insulation concerned the house of a couple in Kansas who wanted to build a “self-reliant homestead” on their country property. According to Mother Earth News’ Jennifer Kongs, their aim was to have a contractor install spray foam insulation for the house walls and batts for the attic, with the R-values most suitable for the region, while keeping the costs within budget. Spray foam is one way to go and batts are another, but there are more options out there, like BIBS and cellulose. What insulation is used and the air sealing that is done are critical parts of the performance of the home. The batts were graded at R-50 while the spray foam was R-15. Installation of the products used is the key.
There’s no better time than now to fix up the house’s insulation properties while the weather is still relatively warm. Home builders in the Duluth area such as Lakeside Advanced Builders can rework the material and make it stronger before winter sets in hard.
Our Home Insulation Decision: Based on R-Value, Mother Earth News
Minnesota State Residential Energy Code Requirements