Saving Energy Around the Home – The Benefits of Adding Insulation to Your Basement Walls
If you are not careful, you could lose a lot of energy through the lower level of your home. Many basements are notoriously energy inefficient, and that inefficiency could be costing the homeowners thousands of dollars a year in wasted energy. If the basement of your home is not properly insulated, it will be extremely difficult to keep the interior space warm in the winter and cool in the summer. That lack of insulation means that the money you spend to heat and cool your home is going right through your basement. If you want to start saving money today, insulating the interior walls of your basement is a good place to start.
Adding insulation to the interior walls of your home has a number of important benefits, from making the basement itself more comfortable to reducing the amount of wasted energy in the rest of the home. If you think that insulating the interior walls of your basement is a smart idea, it is important to keep these tips and considerations in mind.
Always protect yourself when working around insulation. Wear safety goggles, a long-sleeved shirt, long pants and most importantly a dust mask. The tiny fibers from the insulation can get into your body and damage your lungs if you fail to take the proper precautions.
Keep in mind that many types of insulation are required to have a fire-rated covering on them. Insulation can release toxic gases when ignited, so it is very important to make sure this fire-rated covering is in place. Check with your contractor or the home improvement store where you buy the insulation to make sure it carries the proper fire rating.
You will lose a few inches of living space when you install insulation along the interior walls of your basement. This may not be noticeable in a large home, but it could be important in a small basement space.
Be sure to check the exterior drainage around your home. If you have poor drainage around the perimeter of your home, the insulation you install along the interior walls will quickly become saturated with moisture. That can reduce the efficiency of the insulation and cause your energy costs to rise. Addressing moisture and drainage issues before you install the insulation can help you avoid these problems.
Adding insulation to the interior walls of your basement will not protect the damp-proof coating the way exterior insulation will.
You can add insulation to the interior walls of your basement even if the space has already been finished. Just cut a small hole in the drywall and use blow-in cellulose insulation to seal out the air.
If your basement is unfinished and likely to stay that way, spray foam insulation may be the best choice. Spray foam insulation is easy to install, and it sticks to every nook and cranny along the concrete walls. You will need to cover the spray foam with drywall, but foam insulation provides excellent protection against air leakage.
Be sure to add a vapor shield before installation drywall over your new basement wall insulation. The vapor shield protects against condensation and moisture, and it is an absolute must in most climates.