November 29, 2011

Insulation: it's a Beautiful Thing

Last month we got new foam insulation in the subfloor and the attic. Although there was insulation in the subfloor already, it was pretty halfass: fiberglass hanging down in many places. This was phase 1 of the insulation project. Phase 2 will involve having a guy drill tiny holes all over the exterior of the house to inject insulation, then having another guy come and fix those holes. Then, surely we'll need another guy* (or two) to paint over the patched holes and the pink of the exterior. We might even be able to do that part ourselves.

*Note: I say "guy" as a gender neutral term - even if the painter is a lady, we will most likely call her the Painting Guy.

Phase 2 of this project is a couple years and several thousand dollars away, but in the meantime, we're a little more comfortable inside with proper floor and ceiling insulation. The insulation guy said that the walls in our old house are butterfly walls (I googled that, but didn't have any luck, but I can tell you that a search for "butterfly walls" brings up lots of pretty wallpaper..). The Butterfly walls are supposedly hollow in the middle and allow air to travel, unfettered, from the ground to the roof, taking heat with it. The insulation guy said that although he couldn't fully stop the airflow without first making swiss cheese out of the whole house, he could help the situation by injecting insulation from the subfloor into the walls and decreasing the airflow.

While the subfloor insulation was being installed, I was in the kitchen making a sandwich. I guess there was a hole in the floor in the kitchen, because a stream of spray foam and vapor came shooting into the kitchen. This was smelly and unappetizing. But the good news is that the hole is sealed up now! As you can see in the above pics, there were quite a few gaps to seal in.

So far, we're keeping about 5-10 more degrees overnight, meaning what used to be 45 degrees indoors in the mornings is now 50 or 55 - not too bad! It's much easier to warm up the house to the desired 60 degrees of comfort that we're accustomed to.

And here's a picture of the Thanksgiving table, just so you have something nice to look at: