Air and heat loss sealing points in buildings © Daniel Friedman Building Insulation Placement
Where to Place Insulation in Various buildings & Structures

  • INSULATION LOCATION - WHERE TO PUT IT - CONTENTS: How to place insulation in different building types. Where to put the insulation in attics, basements, crawl spaces, greenhouses, passive solar floors, walls, water heaters, water piping Insulating masonry buildings or brick veneer wall buildings. Where to put housewrap and vapor barriers on or in buildings
  • POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about where & how to insulate in or on buildings

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Index to Articles on building insulation installation: This article lists articles describing how, where, and why to locate building insulation, house wrap, vapor barriers, and ventilation for different types of structures or different parts of a building. Is insulation better in the attic floor, or under the roof?

Where should we place insulation in an attic that has knee wall areas? How do I insulate a cape cod structure? The insulation detailing sketch for building air leak and heat loss problem points in buildings shown at page top is reprinted/adapted/excerpted with permission from Solar Age Magazine - editor Steven Bliss.

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Building Insulation Placement - Where to Put the Insulation for Various Building Types & Structures

Foam insulation sprayed in a crawl space - this is not mold - Daniel Friedman 04-11-01The insulation design and choice articles listed just below describe where to place insulation for various building types and situations.

This article series explains the insulating properties and relative costs of common building insulating materials including all types of building insulating materials such as fiberglass insulation, expanded polystyrene insulation, foil-faced polyisocyanurate insulation, and extruded polystyrene.

The insulation figure of merit, "cost of insulation per square foot R-value, is explained as a means of comparing insulating materials.

While the insulation cost data in the original article dates back to November 1983, the concept of using an R-value normalized cost to evaluate insulation is useful today.

Article Series Contents

Priority for Placement of Insulation

Reader Question: 13 Nov 2014 greg said:

I only have about half the inso I need to double the thickness in my attic. Which areas should I place this double layer?



If you do not have enough insulation to completely cover the attic floor with the thickness improvement you want, I would use one of the following approaches to choosing which locations in an attic floor are most-important to better-insulate:

  1. I'd put the additional insulation over bedrooms, allowing lowering of night time thermostat settings while keeping comfortable in sleeping areas
  2. I would put the added insulatin over those rooms below that form a single heating zone

The insulation detailing sketch for building air leak and heat loss problem points in buildings shown at page top is reprinted/adapted/excerpted with permission from Solar Age Magazine - editor Steven Bliss, and discussed at ENERGY SAVINGS RETROFIT LEAK SEALING GUIDE.

Watch out: adding insulation over just part of a room or over just part of a heating zone is much like leaving a window open: the heat losses through the un-insulated or less-insulated areas, like air leaks in a building, can overwhelm the value of the additional insulation.


Continue reading at BLOWN-IN INSULATION or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.

Or see INSULATION R-VALUES & PROPERTIES for an extensive table describing the properties of different insulating materials used in buildings.

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INSULATION LOCATION - WHERE TO PUT IT at - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.

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