We recently bought a one-story ranch house with a full basement (half finished, half garage). Standard 2×4 external wall construction filled with fiberglass batts, fully insulated under the main floor with more fiberglass batts, and the attic filled with blown-in fiberglass – looks like 6 to 8 inches deep up there. Roughly 1800 sq. ft. upstairs & 600 finished downstairs. Vinyl siding exterior, vinyl-trimmed double-pane windows. Middle Tennessee location, so the winters aren’t horrible but it isn’t Ft. Myers either.
The problem is that the last house, which I built, had 2×6 walls with an extra 1″ of Styrofoam over the fiberglass so I’m used to way lower heating bills. Last month, a cold one here, the gas bill for the new house was $285, double the prior month.
What can I do to improve the insulation? Would it help if I insulate the interior walls of the entire basement? Pull the floor insulation & replace with spray-in? I saw in another thread that pulling the siding and adding an inch of foamboard wasn’t going to be all that helpful, so any ideas will be greatly appreciated.
There's no question that the first place to upgrade should be the attic. Nothing is less per R-value than blowing in more attic insulation. We're in a mixed climate and still try to get R-60 up top on all projects. Then look at the other areas that are harder to get to.
Prior to adding the new fluffy stuff dig around with a foam can and fill any and all holes coming or going from the crawlspace, attic, and anywhere you can reach. Caulk thin gaps.
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You need more insulation in the attic. Probably 80% of heat loss occurs there. Measure the depth of the insulation in the attic and add to at least the level of 13 inches. Adding 6 inches of blown in will cost about $500.00.
I'd start by having an energy assessment and blower door test done to find out where the infiltration leaks are. Controling infiltration can save 30% with a small amt of work and most older homes have far more infiltration than occupants are aware of.
So objectively foinding out what the weakspots are to adress first would be more efficient than willy-nilly throwing a bunch of insulation at the place.
But I would plan on adding up to a total of about 15" of the chopped FG in the attic.
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Sensible ideas. Thanks for the advice!