So, you’ve got an unfinished basement. Maybe it’s the spot where seasonal decorations and exercise equipment go to hide out for most of the year. Or maybe it’s just an empty space you walk through quickly because it’s chilly in the winter and too clammy in the summer. If you’ve been contemplating making your basement more efficient and comfy, you’re probably curious if insulating your basement ceiling and walls is helpful. The answer is probably yes, but let’s look into why that’s the case.
If your basement isn’t finished or and has no insulation, you’re not just missing out on added living space; your home’s total efficiency is also taking a hit. Uninsulated basements make your HVAC system work overtime, increasing your energy costs.
You might think the solution is to shut the basement air vents. But if the builder planned ahead, they sized the heating and cooling system for the home’s overall square footage, including the basement, so you could finish it one day without replacing the HVAC equipment. This means if you close the vents, you’ll throw off the return-supply balance and pressure your furnace or AC to work harder, resulting in the opposite of what you were hoping to achieve.
The best part is that insulating your basement can make your home more cozy and may even lower your energy bill. It’s a win-win!
A proper job involves more than just putting some insulation on your walls or ceiling and calling it good. Different kinds of insulation are available, each with pros and cons to think about. You must also determine where insulation will be the most beneficial—in the walls or on the ceiling.
The majority of residences benefit from insulated basement walls. It’s like giving your home a nice, warm blanket to shield itself with during cold weather, leading to big energy savings. Insulating your walls also helps soundproof the level if you plan to install a home theater or other potentially noisy features in the basement.
Note: If your basement is prone to flooding or moisture, tackle these issues first. “Insulated” doesn’t mean “weatherproofed,” and wet insulation won’t do its job.
This determination as to whether to insulate your basement ceiling is not so clear-cut. It’s true, insulating the ceiling makes the first floor of your home feel warmer, but it can also make your basement colder. If you plan on finishing your basement one day, you might not want to take this road. As a substitute, you could install ductwork and vents, if your basement doesn’t have them, to help balance the temperature. On the contrary, if your basement is simply used for storage, feel free to insulate that ceiling!
You’ve thought about the basement ceiling and walls, but have you considered the floor? If you reside in a cold-weather climate or you plan to spend a lot of time in your new basement space, insulating the floor is a good move. An insulated subfloor layered with your choice of carpet, wood or composite flooring will make your winter movie nights or workout sessions much better.
There are multiple choices when it comes to insulating your basement. The most popular materials include:
The R-value of an insulation material is a reflection of its heat flow resistance. The higher the R-value, the better the insulation. While local building codes set the minimum R-value recommended for your region, go higher if you can for the greatest efficiency. Here are some standard guidelines:
Aside from insulating, you can do numerous other things to keep your home and basement cozy:
Whether you want to increase your home’s insulation or install other comfort-enhancing accessories, choose Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing to get the job done right. We offer premium quality, expertise and peace of mind, with 24/7 availability and a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you’re ready to take the next step in home comfort in the U.S., contact Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing to request the services you need. Call 866-397-3787 today to learn how we can help!
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