So, you have an unfinished basement. It’s possible that it’s the section of your home where seasonal decorations and exercise equipment go to be forgotten. Or maybe it is an empty space you walk through quickly because it’s too cold in the winter and too humid in the summer. If you’ve been contemplating making your basement more efficient and comfy, you’re probably curious if insulating your basement ceiling and walls is worthwhile. The answer in all probability is yes, but let’s dig into why insulation can help.
If your basement is not finished or already insulated, you’re not just wasting what could be additional living space; your home’s overall efficiency is also taking a hit. Uninsulated basements make your home comfort system work overtime, driving up your energy costs.
You may think the solution is to close the basement air vents. But if the builder planned ahead, they sized the heating and cooling system for the home’s entire square footage, including the basement, so you could finish it one day without upgrading the HVAC equipment. This means if you close the vents, you’ll throw off the return-supply balance and make your furnace or air conditioner to work harder, resulting in the opposite of what you were hoping for.
The good news is that insulating your basement can make your home more cozy and could even cut down on your energy bill. It’s a win-win!
A good job involves more than simply putting some insulation on your walls or ceiling and calling it a day. Different types of insulation are available, each with benefits and drawbacks to consider. You need to also decide where insulation will be the most beneficial—in the walls or on the ceiling.
Most homes benefit from insulated basement walls. It’s like giving your home a nice, warm blanket to wrap around itself during cold weather, leading to big energy savings. Insulating your walls also helps soundproof the space if you plan to install a home theater or other possibly loud features in the basement.
Note: If your basement is vulnerable to water leaks or moisture, deal with these issues first. “Insulated” doesn’t mean “weatherproofed,” and wet insulation doesn’t work.
This decision as to whether to insulate your basement ceiling isn’t so clear-cut. Sure, insulating the ceiling makes the first floor of your home feel more comfortable, but it can also make your basement chillier. If you intend to finish your basement one day, you might not want to go this route. Instead, you could install ductwork and vents, if your basement doesn’t have them, to help balance the temperature. On the contrary, if your basement is simply used for storage, go ahead and insulate that ceiling!
You’ve looked into putting insulation in the basement ceiling and walls, but what about the floor? If you reside in a cold-weather climate or you plan to spend a lot of time in your new basement space, insulating the floor is a practical move. An insulated subfloor topped with your choice of carpet, wood or composite flooring will make your winter movie nights or game nights much nicer.
There are alternatives when it comes to insulating your basement. The most frequently used materials include:
The R-value of an insulation material is a reflection of its heat flow resistance. The greater the R-value, the better the insulation. Although local building codes set the minimum R-value recommended for your neighborhood, go higher if you can for optimum efficiency. Here are some general guidelines:
Apart from insulating, you can do a number of other things to keep your home and basement comfortable:
Whether you want to improve your home’s insulation or install other comfort-enhancing accessories, choose Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing for a job well done. We offer excellent quality, experience and peace of mind, with 24/7 availability and a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you’re prepared to take the next step in home comfort in the U.S., contact Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing to request the services you need. Call 866-397-3787 today to learn how we can help!
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