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insulating basement ceiling

I was told by an insulation co that if I insulated my basement ceiling my living room which is above the unfinished basement won't feel so drafty. Which insulation should I use?
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Posted 2013-01-18T20:46:46+0000  by AB34 AB34



Whether or not it is worth insulating that basement ceiling depends largely on the temperture variation between the living areas and the basement. Is there only a ten degree variation between the normal basement temp and the temp you keep your living quarters at? If so, I doubt you would perceive a great difference by insulating the basement.


Is your basement integral to the house envelope, or totally closd off from the living quarters? Or, as often the case in many areas of the country, is the furnace and hotwater heater down there and utilizing air for combustion from the house envelope?


A crawl space, which is outside the house envelope and totally open to the exterior air supply,  always has its ceiling insulated to keep the floor above warm and your feet kozy. This is seldom done in a true basement, When done, it is more often for noise control  when the basement is being actively used.


One good source of educated and impartial advice is that of your local utility companies. Many offer fee or low cost energy audits which will tell you how to insulate your house for energy savings and comfort, and what the payback period would be for upgrading.


If your basement is really cold, you might want to investigate how tight it is against air infiltration from the outside. Go down there with an incense stick and slowly walk around the perimeter, watching where the smoke blows. Also check any voids in the basement ceiling which might continue all the way to the attic or exterior. Many pipes, vents and and sewer stacks can present a clear path for warm air to exit . These need to be closed off, usually with expanding foam. Electrical chases may also be pathways for air leakage. In older homes, often the baseplate was not set tight to the foundation wall. The entire rim joist should be heavily insulated. All of these items are not brain surgery and can be done by a conscientious homeowner relatively quickly and cheaply.


Every house has a "stack effect". Air tries to work its way upward and outward. As that warm air is lost, cold outside air tries to take its place. The average home loses more heat to air infiltration than to radiant heat loss. Plug the exit gaps and the entrance gaps!


Hope this has helped.

Posted 2013-01-19T05:46:00+0000  by ordjen
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