Saturday, December 20, 2008

Insulation: overhead but not on your mind

Days like this....

(Ken in a Ballard park making snow boulders)

(Not our car but someone left a delightfully ironic message about the weather.)

make me glad we have insulation now. Everywhere we turned this past summer & fall, Puget Sound Energy or someone was encouraging homeowners to have good insulation for energy efficiency. We really had no idea how good or bad ours was. We were shocked and amazed to find out that prior to pumping a whole bunch of loose cellulose insulation into our attic that we only had an R-factor* of 8? You're supposed to have 38. Up until a few weeks ago, all that had been keeping our expensive oil-fired heat from floating off into space were 1930's newspapers and old rat droppings. Lovely.

Do you know how you can tell if someone has good or adequate insulation? I learned from an appraiser the other day if you look at roofs after it's snowed those with no snow or considerably less have poor insulation while the roofs with lots of snow signal good insulation. When you look around the neighborhood especially now in the PNW, you will know.

Now we notice that when we move from the back rooms to the front of the house, the air is the practically the same temperature. Before, it was noticeably colder in the front rooms (single pane windows don't help either). Yeah, windows are next year.

*R-Factor (Thermal Resistance Factor) - The National Commercial & Industrial Insulation Standards Manual defines R-Value as - a measure of the ability to retard heat flow rather than to transmit heat. The higher the "R", the higher (better) the insulating value. Source

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