Thursday, October 4, 2012

Insulation Part 1

Who knew there could be more than one part to the story of insulation.

"Not I," said the duck.

Anyone? Anyone?

OK. Insulation. Our house is 82 years old. Built right at the beginning of the Great Depression. Turns out conduit was already a thing, but insulating your home was not.

So we own a very large, very drafty 82 year old home.

We used to throw away money during the hot, hot summers and ridiculously cold Oklahoma winters in our first house, the little bungalow. We never undertook this size of a renovation while on 20th Street so we sucked it up and paid our outrageous heating and cooling bills practically year round. Well, not this time. This time, we'd take the right steps and distribute the money in order to insulate those bills into submission.

Our realtor, Gary, mentioned that he had a friend who specialized in energy conservation in homes and would have some tips about the insulation portion of the job. So before the house was even ours, we had Trey come out and take a look. He gave us some quick thoughts and then recommended we call a company he uses quite often.

So, we met with that company, Oklahoma Foam. They're actually doing our whole heating and cooling system, insulation included. Trey ran calculations and did blow tests, they came out and surveyed the house and determined an entire insulation/HVAC system that would give us incredibly low energy bills. And for not much more than our originally planned budget amount.

To put it briefly, Insulation Part 1 involved all of our spray foam insulation. We were advised (by multiple people) to have a non-vented attic and to treat it as conditioned space. Not the same temps we would do in our living room, but a somewhat climate controlled space nonetheless. So as soon as the roof was done, and our HVAC installer had the new ducts in place, he called them in to spray the underside of the roof deck. See the third photo. This means when our attic would have been 135 degrees in the summer, now it'll be 90. This allows for us to use this space for storage without worry and maybe, one day, transition it into another space. It's also going to save us a ton of cash. Funny how that works, paying to condition the attic will actually save us money.  
They also sprayed the entry vestibule walls (see last photo), the underside of our sitting room (see second photo), the underside of the first floor (the basement ceiling), and the rim joist around the perimeter of the house between the 1st and 2nd floor. They spray and then come back with a thin wire and slice through it to even it out for gyp board wall installation. They had everything done in less than a day and a half and once everything is covered up you'll never even know its there. But our bank account will know. 

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