How Much Insulation?

Guess What's in the Picture?

by Don Ames


How Much Insulation

The building industry did not get serious about insulating homes till the early 1980′s. The homes in the cooler climates received the advantages before the southern homes. The question of How Much Insulation started in the north and spread south.

Attics were the first to receive insulation and then walls. It took a while for the insulation to get to the floor. During home energy audits, it’s not unusual for a home that was constructed in the 70′s to have insulation installed in the attic and the walls, but none underfloor.

Reasons why few people were concerned with how much insulation was enough.

  • I am sure that home cost was always an issue, the less insulation installed the less expensive the home.
  • Let’s not forget that in the seventies, energy was not as expensive. If your Home was a little cool, just crank up the furnace.
  • People were not freezing to death in the manufactured homes that housed the workers of the North Dakota oil fields. People got cold, so organizations and Universities started to study the problem and find solutions.

If you meet an oil field worker from North Dakota, be sure to say thanks.

How Much Insulation continues to grow:

Construction of a home in 1979 had to be insulated to code. Insulation was blown in the attic to a depth of 6 inches. 2 x 4 inch walls received a nice insulation batt of R-11. The underfloor was given R-19.

Today, new home construction would see 2 x 6 inch walls insulated to R-21. R-49 in the attic and at least R-25 in the floor.

Only Code Committees know where the “R” level is going to stop. The nice thing is, now days the research continues so any R-value recommendations is usually backed up by stacks of data.

Home builders are trying to keep us comfortable and research is trying to keep us energy efficient.

“Guess What’s in the Picture”

Take a look at this screen cast. I took this picture the other day at a home energy audit. Hope you enjoy it and I hope it gives you some energy saving ideas.

Thanks for stopping by Detect Energy, come back soon, but I won’t leave the light on for you…

If you have trouble opening the screen cast above, try this youtube link  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdqp6PB1aF8