Add Insulation to Warm Up a Room
LESLIE: Ann in Missouri is on the line with an insulation question. How can we help you?
ANN: Hi. I don’t have very wide walls in my home. And so the – there’s not much insulation between the outdoors and the indoors. And what I was wondering – I want to add to it and so I was wanting to extend the walls out a little bit. I didn’t know whether I should just leave the covering up and put a line of 2x4s on it or if I should take the wall covering off for the insulation.
TOM: The walls do have some insulation in it now and you’re wanting to know how you can actually …?
ANN: Yeah, I want to add to it but I didn’t know whether I should just take the wall covering off …
TOM: Ann, what kind of walls do you have right now? They 2×4 walls and are those 2×4 wall cavities filled with insulation? When you say they have a little bit, how do you know how much they have and how much they don’t have?
ANN: I’ve looked in between them. I’ve looked in the outlets and it’s just cold in there.
TOM: OK. Mm-hmm, OK. Well, look, I don’t think adding more insulation to the walls is going to be the solution to why it’s cold. There’s probably another reason it’s cold.
Now, the places to add insulation are in ceilings or floors – those are easy to access to – but most importantly ceilings. And if it’s just plain cold there, you may not have enough BTUs of heat getting to that space. How is that area of your house heated?
ANN: It’s just a furnace, gas.
TOM: Ducts? What, like …?
TOM: Ducts, OK. And is this an addition?
ANN: Nope. It’s just my regular domain. So probably underneath more than – and up above would help tremendously.
TOM: That’s where you would add insulation: in the floor structure underneath and in the ceiling above but not the walls. The walls you can seal, you can caulk. You can replace windows or doors that are drafty. But that’s a difficult place to add insulation. The easy place to add it is in the ceiling or the floor below, OK?
TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.