Tony is an insulation industry veteran. In fact he knew all about my mid-century modern home, because over the years he has made dozens of them more energy efficient. I told Tony about the blower door tests and the sealing that was done. He reviewed the report on leakage, examined the infrared photos. They confirmed what he thought: basically there was little to no insulation in the home. A look into the attics confirmed the fact.
Inspecting in the crawl space, Tony noticed that there was minimal insulation in the wall area where the foundation meets the stud walls…in fact you could reach your hand under the exterior siding into the great outdoors!
Photo: It’s not mold, it’s 50 years of air blowing through the insulation
After more than an hour of inspection, measurements and discussion it was time to work up a quote. It included spray foam in the crawl space and all along the perimeter of the stud wall where it meets the foundation. It also included adding fiberglass blow-in insulation and batts in the attic areas. The work was pretty extensive and took three days to complete. They sprayed the foam insulation on a Friday, and we visited friends out of town, because Tony told us that it wouldn’t be a good idea to be in the house for two days while the foam off-gassed. Good advice, because when we came back Sunday evening you could still smell it, but opening the windows for a bit seemed to work.
A few weeks after the work was completed the weather turned pretty cold, and we noticed right away that the home felt cozier. No drafts. In fact, we even turned the thermostat down several degrees and still felt comfortable. Then the gas bills started showing up, and we could see right away that we were using less energy.
And when it snowed several inches, the snow on the roof didn’t melt off right away like it used to. So far, the sealing and insulation seemed like great values compared to the relatively reasonable costs incurred. It will be interesting to continue tracking our energy consumption to see how much less we’re using to heat and cool.
What did I learn? First, find out what the insulation situation is in your attic, walls and crawl space….and then add more. Even when it got down to zero, we stayed very comfortable without having the turn up the thermostat. Second, check around until you find a guy like Tony who is knowledgeable and willing to take the time to explain all of the issues and do it right.
Posted: 2/26/2010 11:38:36 AM by
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