The Benefits of Quality Insulation In Your Home

A 203k streamline mortgage offers the opportunity to make a home more energy efficient, among other things.  We’ve covered some options in previous posts.  Another way to improve efficiency is to apply insulation to your home.

Save Energy Immediately by Insulating Your Home

If you are cold and want to figure some of the quickest ways to save money year round, you need to add insulation to your home. The United States Department of Energy (USDOE) states:

“Heating and cooling account for 50 to 70% of the energy used in the average American home. Inadequate insulation and air leakage are leading causes of energy waste in most homes.”



So, bottom line is insulation:

    • Will reduce your carbon footprint, save you money on your energy bill and reduces your reliance on fossil fuels
    • Will make your house more comfortable by helping to maintain a uniform temperature throughout the house, and
    • Will make walls, ceilings, and floors warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

What is that insulation made of? Usually Fiberglass or Cellulose

    • Fiberglass Insulation
      Fiberglass insulation comes in loose-fill (what you can get at the hardware store) or blown-in material. Blown-in materials get contracted out to a professional.The batts of insulation you see at the Home Depot are rolled up blankets of insulation that you install in between the beams in the attic. They are flexible products made from mineral fibers, such as fiberglass and rock wool.
    • Cellulose Fiber InsulationCellulose fiber consists of ground-up newspaper material, which is then treated with fire-retardant chemicals. It can get into any nook or cranny. This makes cellulose the better, greener, more complete insulation.

Here are the places in your home that need to be insulated
Source: US Department of Energy

    • Slabs
      According to the US Department of Energy:slab insulation can be installed using one of two basic techniques:Installing rigid insulation, typically foam board, directly against the exterior of the slab and footing Building a “contained” or “floating” slab with interior rigid insulation, typically foam board. If insulation is installed on the exterior of the slab:Install it from the top of the slab to the bottom of the frost line unless a termite inspection gap is required. Encapsulate or cover the exterior face of the insulation with a protective membrane to serve as a capillary break and to protect the insulation from termites. Cover the above-grade portion of the insulation exposed to the outside air using a stucco coating, pressure-treated wood, brick, or aluminum flashing. When covering insulation, be conscious of how to detect termites in areas prone to termite infestation. Some states in termite-prone areas address this issue by requiring a termite inspection gap near the top of the slab insulation.That has an R-value of at least R-8 in milder climates and up to R-10 in colder areas. Reminder: Only use insulation that is approved for use “below-grade.”

      Note: Slab insulation is not insulating under the slab, but is only insulating the edge of the slab. In new construction many people insulate under the slab but it is only possible in new construction.

    • Wall Insulation
      If a wall is insulated, properly sealed and moisture-protected, insulated walls help increase comfort, reduce noise, and save on energy costs. For adding insulation to existing finished walls, you might first consider using loose-fill or sprayed foam as your insulation. These two types of insulation can be added without much disturbance to finished areas of your home.(Source: US Department of Energy)
    • Crawlspace
      Research has shown that this approach can lead to moisture problems, especially in areas with cold or humid air. You can insulate the perimeter just like you do in a basement, (although you then have to heat the crawl space) or you can insulate the floor itself and then ventilate the crawl space. However, if you do this then duct work and plumbing all has to be insulated and the floor may be cold no matter how much insulation you put into it as heat rises and there is none in the floor.
    • BasementWall insulation in basements is similar to the approaches described for crawlspaces. And basement floors are insulated in ways similar to slabs. Exterior wall insulation is preferred over interior approaches (Broniek 2003; Yost and Lstiburek 2002).
    • Exterior Insulation
      Exterior insulation’s position outside of damp proofing makes it less likely to contribute to problems of trapped moisture inside basement walls. Exterior wall insulation must be approved for below-grade use.
  • Don’t Forget That R-FactorAs we all know (or should know) the effectiveness of insulating your attic depends on the proper R-value for your home (depending upon where you live) and how you insulate the attic.Your R-factor is this scale that goes from low to high, with the higher numbers for better insulation effectiveness. The crazy thing about insulation in attics is most people are under-insulated. Most attics need an R-38 but my attic needs an R-49. There are even proposed energy codes that would increase that number to over R-50.The effectiveness of an insulated attic, wall or floor depends on how and where the insulation is installed.Here are some important tips on installing insulation to remember:
      • Do not compress the insulation.
      • Insulation should cover the tops of the joists.

Remember, as is the case with all 203K streamline improvements; they must be completed by an insured contractor.

Click here to sign up for our FREE online class: “Buy & Remodel All in One Loan”.

Buy & Remodel All in One Loan

DISCLAIMER: Neither Indiana 203K Mortgages ( nor Luminate Home Loans is affiliated with any government agencies, including the FHA.