Can a Drop Ceiling Cut Heating Bills?
LESLIE: Cary in Alaska is dealing with a heating problem. It’s cold there. What’s going on?
CARY: I live off-grid with a battery bank and inverter with a solar and generator backup to recharge batteries. Consequently, I’d – and I have a full electric house with propane direct-vented furnace. My question is: will installing a drop ceiling improve my heating efficiency and lower my propane bill? Because my ceilings are vaulted at 17 feet. And a lot of the heat goes up, so I’m just wondering – basically a 12x 24-foot area.
TOM: So, Cary, what you need to do is to not only put in that drop ceiling but to put insulation batts above the drop ceiling. If you just put the drop ceiling in, you will not have enough R-value in that drop ceiling to do the job you need it to do. So I would build the drop ceiling and then I would put probably at least 12-inch-thick unfaced fiberglass batts on top of it. It should be plenty strong enough to support that. Just stacked end to end right above that ceiling.
You’re going to have to kind of put the frame in, put a couple of ceiling panels in, drop some insulation in and sort of work your way across. But if you were to put that much insulation above the drop ceiling, it will have a huge difference in your heating bill. Because right now, you’re spending most of that money to heat that ceiling cavity and you’re just got to keep the heat lower than that.
CARY: OK. Well, that’s good to hear. I appreciate the help there.
TOM: You’re welcome, Cary. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.