Shortly after we received our first gas bill after moving into our house in WV, we started on the path towards reducing our energy usage. The house was built in 1939 which is apparently before anyone invented insulation as our house had absolutely none. I have been tearing things apart and installing new insulation in every nook and cranny. We have replaced and sealed most of the windows and all of the little entries into the house, we replaced the ancient furnace with a new, high-efficiency one and we have installed CFLs everywhere. It has made a significant difference in our energy bills so has been well worth the effort.
The family room, office and lower bathroom are the worst as far as cold goes. The walls are solid masonry…outside->brick->block->plaster->inside…basically a huge cold conductor into the house. We demolished the office and bathroom first and have studded out new walls from the masonry and added water-proofing and insulation.
For my birthday, my brother-in-law and his wife bought me a thermal leak detector…one of those devices that can take instantaneous temperature readings from a distance. So, now that I have the office studded out and insulated, I thought it might be fun to compare the wall temperature of the new area with the uninsulated space of the rest of the area. The entire area is basically unheated now as we are working so I suppose the difference would be more significant if we separated the areas a bit more and actually heated the area properly. Anyhow, in the new area, my temperature reading was 64.7 deg F. Not more than 5 feet away, I took a reading on the uninsulated part which was 54.5 deg F! So, without separating the areas much at all, I can still see a 10 degree difference!
I took some additional readings which I thought were interesting. In our bedroom, we suffer the same problem as the other rooms…the walls are uninsulated. Although the are made of different materials, none of those materials is warm! So, I took a reading on the bedroom wall which was 64.9 deg F. I then moved to the new insulated window that replaced the old fashioned original windows. The temperature of the window (windows are generally considered not to be great at keeping cold out) was 70.8 deg F! I couldn’t believe the window was a better insulator than the wall!
So, I am certain now that the insulation projects I am doing are beneficial and the new windows I installed are well worth the money!
So what about you? Ever quantify changes you’ve made to your place? Have any good insulation stories to tell?