Ensuring Your Home Is Properly Insulated

Doing it correctly can save you hundreds on your heating bills

Now is a good time to check the insulation of your home.  With oil on the rise, fixing drafty areas in your house will save you the extra oil fill-up. Areas to check are basement ceilings, attics, around windows and electrical boxes.


If you have no insulation in the basement ceiling, you can fix this yourself.  To find out the amount of insulation you need,  just figure the square feet of the ceiling (length times the width), then measure if your joists are 16” on center or 24” on center.  Then call the lumber yard and they will deliver the amount you need.  Also ask them for the thin metal wire to hold up the insulation.  You can use either R-13 (4” thick) or R-19 (6” thick). The higher the R number, the better. 

Things To Know

With fiberglass batt insulation you don’t want to pack it in so tight that you lose the proper effect.  With 2”x10” floor joists, R-19 is a good one to use.  If you have a question, your lumber dealer can help you or you can always email me.  Also, remember the vapor barrier is always facing the heated area.

Vapor Barrier

The vapor barrier is to keep indoor moisture from going through the wall and destroying the paint or from causing decay in structural lumber. 


To add extra insulation in the attic, you don’t want to use insulation with a vapor barrier because more than likely there is one already there.  Just buy R-19 or R-30 batts and roll them out over the existing insulation.  Just be careful not to put your foot through the sheetrock ceiling.


Condensation of moisture vapor may occur in attic spaces during cold weather.  Even where vapor barriers are used, it is to be expected that some vapor will work into these spaces around pipes and lights.  Proper ventilation will allow this moisture to escape so do not block off gable vents or soffit vents as this will allow the moisture to escape.  

Electrical boxes

If you feel a draft around the electrical box on the outside walls, you can buy insulated pads to go under the box covers.


Keep the vapor barrier towards the heated areas.  Do not stuff the insulation so tight and make sure you don’t block off ventilation.  Any questions, please email me at William.petrone@yahoo.com

Your Blue Thumb Builder, Bill.


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