Insulation Checkpoints Part 2

Expanding on the previous post, here is a list that was provided by the NAIMA that highlights various insulation checkpoints for ceilings & floors.

 

CEILINGS AND FLOORS

1. Cantilevered Floors. These should be insulated at the floor R-value

requirements.

 

2. Attic Openings. The attic opening should be insulated with insulated covers

or a piece of batt insulation at the same R-value as the attic requirements

and secured in place.

 

3. Attic Cards. A completed attic card may be placed near the attic opening

when blown insulation is installed.

 

4. Attic Rulers. When blown insulation is used, it is good practice to install

attic rulers, one for every 300 square feet of attic area. The installed

thickness of blown insulation should not be less than the minimum settled

thickness on the attic card.

 

5. Eave Baffles. Baffles should be installed on eaves with vents.

 

6. Knee Walls. Knee walls should be insulated at wall R-value requirements.

Insulation should be supported with an appropriately fire-rated backing

on the exterior side.


Insulation Checkpoints for Contractors

Below is a list published by the NAIMA, North America Insulation Manufacturers Association, that outlines a few handy checkpoints for builders & contractors to determine if insulation is installed properly in wall areas. Many individuals use these as a reminder for the various items that need to be inspected.

 

Wall Areas

 

1. Cavity Fill. The batts or loose-fill should fill all standard and narrow cavities

completely: no gaps top or bottom.

 

2. Electrical Wiring. Insulation should be split or cut to fit around wiring.

 

3. Electrical Boxes. Batts should be cut to fit around electrical boxes with a

piece placed behind each box.

 

4. Plumbing. Insulation should be placed between the outside wall and the

pipes. If kraft facing is used, it should be in substantial contact with the

gypsum board.

 

5. R-value. The R-value should be marked visibly on the insulation, faced

or unfaced. The R-value should meet or exceed the minimum code

requirements.

 

6. Fitting. Batts should friction fit snugly in the cavity. Faced batts can be

inset or faced stapled as needed. If inset stapled, batts should not be

overly compressed.

 

7. Vapor Retarder Placement. It should be towards the “warm in winter”

living area except in extremely humid areas. (Note: Kraft facing should

never be left exposed.)

 

8. Vapor Retarder Integrity. Taping vapor retarder facings is not standard

practice. Small tears and gaps are not expected to cause moisture issues

but can be repaired if desired.

 

9. Vapor Retarder Materials. When required, appropriate vapor retarder

materials may include kraft facing, continuous polyethylene sheeting,

vapor retarder paints and “smart” vapor retarders. (Note: Polyethylene

should only be used in very cold climates.)

 

10. Bay Window. The outside wall, extended floor, and ceiling should be

insulated.

 

11. Window and Door Areas. Spaces around windows and doors should be

filled with insulation or caulked. Do not overstuff.

 

12. Band Joists. Insulation with a nonflammable facing should be used for

band joists.


Air Sealing – Ducts & Piping Shafts

NAIMA

Air sealing can be a major problem for many home owners. There are many things that should be done to prevent air sealing but one place you should inspect is Duct/Piping Shafts. Spaces can be left unsealed where ducts, pipes and wiring serve as links between conditioned and unconditioned space. An example of this would be the space left unsealed around HVAC vents and light fixtures.

Use the proper sealing products such as caulk or handheld canned spray foams to seal any cavities that may allow heat transfer. Finding and sealing wall penetrations associated with mechanical ventilation systems, electrical openings and plumbing pipes will pay dividends to you and your customers for weatherizing a home for unwanted air leaks.


North America Insulation Manufacturers Association

NAIMA

NAIMA stands for North America Insulation Manufacturers Association and every contractor should at least be familiar with that organization. This organization publishes useful content on their website that can really help inform, educate and help you sell your service to your customers. In a previous post, we mentioned that the Department of Energy is a great resource that can be used. Expanding on that list of resources is http://www.naima.org. Here you will find a variety of topics to increase your knowledge base of insulation.

Their literature library is packed with how to properly install different types of insulation, codes & standards as well various facts that have been release by the Department of Energy on R-values. You’ll find a plethora of information on insulation in their literature library.

The website also covers literature on health & safety of applying & installing various types of insulation. There is also a section specifically for incentives & rebates that you can use. When you need to look for industry links or valuable literature on insulation check out the NAIMA website at http://www.naima.org you’ll likely find what you’re looking for there.

 

Service Partners is the largest insulation distributor in North America with over 75 locations nationwide.


New Ways to Use Less Energy At Home

Caulk

The wall-street journal recently published an article regarding home energy efficiency and the impact it can have on homes. It also detailed the progression of insulation products over the past few years that has led to the development of spray foam & blown-in insulation as alternatives to the standard fiberglass batts & rolls.

The article gives some fascinating statistics such as the fact that 93% of builders in a survey named increased energy efficiency as an important green practice. This article is geared towards home-owners but is a great read for contractors to gather some useful facts to help present supporting information for your recommendations to homeowners. Here is the link to the Wall Street Journal Article – New Ways to Use Less Energy at Home .

Remember, referencing the Wall Street Journal can be a great sales tool to support your recommendations to your customers.


Weatherization Tips and Information

 

Fall is here to stay for a couple months and it is time to start preparing for winter along with the changes in temperature. Making sure your home is winterized is vital for staying warm, comfortable and keeping your energy bill lower this winter. Here are a few tips that you can tell your customers that can make sure they enjoy the winter months inside their home without putting too much strain on their wallet.

 

Reverse the ceiling fan

Turn the switch the reverse the spin of the fan to clockwise on their fan while on the job. This will help circulate the pooled warm air near the ceiling back into the living areas.

Caulk

Turn Down the Water Heater

Help your customers save a few extra dollars this winter by turning down their water heater. Make the adjustment from 140 degrees to 120 and it can reduce their water heating costs up to 10%.

Check the Thermostat

Every degree your customers lower their thermostat can save them 1-3% on energy. Let them know that help tip the next time you talk with them. They’ll appreciate it.

Use Caulk & Weather-stripping

Make sure your customers’ homes are air sealed with caulk & weather-stripping around windows & doors. Helping your customers close off unwanted leaks & drafts with caulk or weather-stripping can reduce energy consumption by up to 30% per year.