Floor insulation is important to save energy. Up to 10% of a home’s heat can escape through uninsulated floors but the most direct result of insulating floors is comfort. Floors can be cold, drafty, and uncomfortable.
9 Reasons Why Floor Insulation Is Important
An insulated floor can be just as important as insulating walls. Here are reasons to consider the investment.
1. Energy Efficiency
Uninsulated floors are responsible for up to 10% of heat loss. Insulated floors also save on cooling costs. Hot air rises. Insulating the floors of multi-story buildings helps prevent upper floors from getting too hot. Insulating floors helps save money. HVAC equipment does not have to run as long and as often–saving wear and tear.
Insulated floors have fewer drafts and cold spots. Sealing gaps and cracks with foam before insulating eliminates drafts regardless of the type of insulation being used. Babies, children, and pets playing on the floor are warmer on insulated floors. Feet are also warmer.
Basements, crawl spaces, and garages are often kept at lower temperatures than living spaces. Warm air always flows toward cooler areas. Insulation helps prevent this flow and eliminates the drafty feeling on floors.
Insulated floors reduce sound transmission between floors of multistory houses or apartment buildings. If soundproofing is a major consideration, choose a type of insulation with better noise abatement properties.
4. Moisture Control
Basements and crawl spaces can have high humidity levels. Encapsulating a crawl space or insulating a floor helps prevent moisture from migrating into living areas. Spray foam insulation seals all gaps and cracks. Restricting moisture penetration reduces mold and protects hardwood flooring.
5. Building Envelope
A lot of time, effort, and money is spent on ensuring a well-insulated building envelope. Floors are often overlooked. Insulating the building from the ground or unheated space below the main living area completes the envelope.
6. Pipe and Duct Protection
Floor insulation helps prevent pipes and ducts from freezing. Insulation also keeps condensation from forming. Pipe condensation adds moisture to the air in basements and crawl spaces–helping reduce mold, mildew, and pest infestations.
7. Makes Basements More Livable
Most basement concrete floors are poured directly onto the ground. Keeping the concrete warm is almost impossible. Adding insulation on top of the concrete and new floor covering helps keep the heat in. (Removing a concrete floor to add insulation is not cost-effective.) Turning a basement into an apartment or adding to your living area is much more comfortable with a warm floor.
Newer homes should have at least two inches of insulation like extruded polystyrene rigid boards installed on the ground before the concrete is poured.
8. Fire Resistance
Most types of insulation are fire-resistant. Adding insulation to floors will not prevent fires, but it can slow them down. This gives people more time to evacuate and firefighters a little extra time to control a fire.
9. Return On Investment
Insulating floors is usually not an expensive project–even when done by a contractor. Installing insulation is also a relatively simple DIY job. In addition to making the home more comfortable and saving energy costs, the investment should be returned at sale time.