How much heat can be saved by insulating under the floor? [closed]


According to what I've seen, insulating basement ceilings (which is roughly the same as what you asked) has relatively little effect on energy use, though it will make the floors a bit warmer. If you wear slippers or have carpets/rugs, that may not be something you'd ever notice. The usual suggestion for cost-effective energy saving is air sealing first, then making sure the ceiling of the top floor is deeply insulated, then look at what else needs attention.

In the US, many utility companies will pay for a specialist to evaluate your house and make recommendations. Of course you may or may not agree with those conclusions, but more data is always good, especially when...

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When - Where - How

by Lawrence Drake
published the Radiant Panel Report, July 2000


A common question that occurs during the design stage of a heated slab installation is one of slab insulation. Is it really necessary? If so, where and how much? The rule of thumb seems to be, "the more difficult it is to calculate, the less likely it is to be applied." Calculating heat loss from a heated slab and determining the required insulation is very difficult, so it is often ignored. This doesn't make the heat loss go away, but does reduce construction cost. Too often the building owner pays the price in high utility bills. There are times when there is a valid tradeoff between insulation and slightly higher utility bills. The big question is how to determine where this tradeoff makes sense.

The problem is one of variables. Soil conditions, ground temperatures, groundwater, floor covering and distance from the slab to the surface of the ground, all...

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In most cases, the insulation that is already in your floor will be adequate. If there is no insulation under your frame floor, we do recommend adding it. For Concrete floors, always recommend Cork insulation. Concrete slabs absorb part of the heat generated by the floor warming system so less heat is transferred to the flooring. Heat always moves toward colder surfaces, so it goes both up & down when the floor warming system is in direct contact with a slab. But, adding a simple layer of cork between the slab & floor heating provides a "thermal break" reducing the flow of heat into the slab and allowing MORE HEAT transfer into the flooring. Installing insulation on top of slab translates into more heat, faster response times and less energy used; a wise investment. There are a few other insulation materials available, but Cork is the best choice, since it is a natural product and a renewable resource, unlike other insulating products.

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Good morning Bud,

Took a quick look at the site and a couple others listed on the Yahoo search. I was kind of hoping to find a general or maybe generic answer like that old report I referred to. No such luck there. Most seemed to be only concerned with homes that had basements.

If we can ever say that a certain percentage of heat is lost through the floors of a home, it would surely vary a great deal depending on the climate of that area.

I have never applied the RCC that I have worked with to the underside of the wood flooring of a house. However, my counterpart in Texas had done that "A few hundred times" over the last 20 years or so. I asked what the results were and if he had any data on the results at all. He said all he had was the people saying, especially little old ladies, it made a great difference. Statements like "My tile floor isnt cold under my feet anymore", The linoleum in the bathroom and kitchen isnt cold anymore, Very comfortable now", and...

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Does the floor in your sitting room tend to get really cold? Are you having trouble heating up the floor? Well, one of the reasons your floor is getting cold is because the floor is one of the paths that heat leaves your home by.

The majority of heat loss occurs through the roof. However, some 10 to 20 percent of heat loss is due to your floor.

We do not take it into account the draughts coming up through the floor.

So, if you are wondering is it worth insulating under floorboards, the answer is yes. And we will try to answer why.

Let’s start by mentioning a few things. First and foremost, adding extra insulation to your floor must comply with the relevant building regulations for where you live.

If required, a reputable installer will arrange this on your behalf.

Check Your Floor Type

One of the aspects you need to consider for is it worth insulating under floorboards in the type of floor you have. For example, older homes have...

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If you are building a new house or having a major remodel done on your existing home, it will pay off in energy savings and increased comfort to have underfloor insulation installed. During the early phases of construction, the builder should inform all subcontractors (plumbing, electrical, HVAC, etc.) that they need to keep the space between the floor joists as clear as possible.

1) Have drain lines, electrical wiring, and ductwork run below the bottom of the insulation so that a continuous layer of insulation can be installed. If you live in an area with freezing winters, supply plumbing may be located within the insulation for added protection. The best approach is to run supply plumbing together in a few joist spaces. The insulation can be split and run around the plumbing.

2) All air leaks between the conditioned area of the home and the crawlspace should be sealed. High-priority leaks include holes around bathtub drains and other drain lines, plenums for...

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Hi illinigirl,

The standard insulation used under basement floors is rigid insulation (XPS -- extruded polystrene). It comes in 2 inch thick often blue pieces of styrofoam. Dow manufacturers it among others. It is not spray foam.

We used it in our build -- we are in southern Canada. The labour to lay the rigid insulation sheets was not high. The guys had to dig away a bit more gravel so the basement ceiling level was not compromised. They used the red tuck tape to attach the sheets to each other. This allowed the concrete flat workers to pour the floor with wheel barrow loads.

I am not sure yet what a difference it will make as we are partway through our build. We have hydronic in-floor heat that was just turned on for the basement level. The floor is wonderfully warm (mostly due to the in-floor coils). We were required by code to place the rigid insulation because of our planned in-floor heat. Otherwise, I understand, the heat from the coils would not just...

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How to insulate the floor in a private house

One of the most important components of comfortableHousing is a floor heating. This is especially true for families with young children. Ideally, take care of the floor insulation should be at the construction stage. If you have purchased a house in the secondary market or made mistakes during its construction, it is necessary to insulate the finished floor. In this article you will learn how to properly insulate the floor of a new home builders and how to fix the error.


Terms of insulating floors floor insulation in old house Choosing insulating material Warming of the wooden floor Thermal insulation of the concrete base Method insulation floating floor floor heating device How to insulate the floor cottage

Terms of insulating floors

If you are self-erectionnew home, pay particular attention to the proper formation of rough and finish the floor. Do not try to save - to no good it will not. Most...

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When I put down new floorboards (like you, to be left bare) on the upstairs of our loft conversion, I decided to add strips of insulating board on top of the floor joists so as to reduce sound transfer by conduction (the boards in your house sit on the same joists that are the ceiling joists of the down stairs rooms - a perfect path)

I used the sheets designed for putting under laminated flooring, bought from Wickes. They are about 10mm thick, easy to cut into strips with a craft knife, and I placed them along each joist. (Sound isn't such a problem in our conversion, since the new floor joists are independent of the old ceiling's joists.)

I guess a much more thorough job would be made by placing whole sheets over the joists first, butting them tightly together. But take care where you stand as the joist will then be hidden - fit them as you go along! I would recommend this in addition, obviously, to placing rockwool between the joists as mentioned above. With the 'direct'...

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Posted by : Ecohome | Mike Reynolds

Technical edit and thermal images by Denis Boyer

Before we began insulating foundation walls and below slabs (see slab on grade), it was generally estimated that basement heat loss accounted for about 1/3 of the total heat loss of a house. It is likely that such an abysmal starting place made the addition of any insulation at all seem sufficient, so basements are still chronically under-insulated.

Current building codes vary by region, but what is consistent is that if you insulate to the minimum requirements of code, your basement will still account for a significant and unnecessary portion of the heat loss in your home. Somewhere between R5 and R10 under a slab tends to be what we typically see now, yet energy modeling shows that additional insulation will have a relatively quick payback period.

Compare the following thermal images of figure 1 - a slab floor insulated to R64, and figure 2 below, one insulated to R5....

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15.1. If the heat transfer capacity in a heat exchanger is dropping, the following action should be taken:a). Clean the heat transfer surface16.1. Chlorine is used in the cooling water system to:a). Prevent biological growth17.1. To evaluate the condition of a heat exchanger the following measurements should be recorded:a). In and outlet temperatures, and flow rates for both media18.1. In a refrigeration system, the condenser cooling water regulating valve is directly controlled bythe:a). Compressor discharge pressure19.1. Water hammer is a shortblasting pressure peak travelling along the pipe. How can it be avoided ina cooling water system?a). Operate valves gradually20.1. Erosive tube failure in a heat exchanger could be the result of:a). Excessive cooling water velocity21.1. Reduced capacity accompanied by vibration and noise at the suction of a centrifugal pump resultsfrom the action of vapor pockets in the fluid being pumped caused by:a). Cavitation22.1. The heat required to...

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Radiant heat systems often cost more to install initially than forced-air systems, but they also run more economically and retain heat better, say proponents. The cost savings will depend on the region where you live, the severity of the winters, how well insulated your home is, the fuel source and the layout of the system. According to the Radiant Panel Association, most homeowners can accrue energy savings of 10% to 30%; for commercial installations, savings of up to 60% or greater are possible.

Radiant Floor Heating
Time: 01:04
Watch an overview of the benefits of installing a radiant floor heating system in concrete floors.

Other ways concrete in-floor radiant heating saves energy:

Studies conducted by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) indicate that with radiant heating systems people can be comfortable at temperatures 6 to 8 degrees F lower than with convective systems that...
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Drainwater heat recovery (DHR) devices have been around for more than twenty years. By now, over 60,000 of the units have been installed in North America. When one of these devices is installed in a typical single-family home, it can reduce the amount of energy used for domestic hot water by 15% to 22%.

Two years ago, changes were made to the rules governing HERSIndex or scoring system for energy efficiency established by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) that compares a given home to a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Reference Home based on the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code. A home matching the reference home has a HERS Index of 100. The lower a home’s HERS Index, the more energy efficient it is. A typical existing home has a HERS Index of 130; a net zero energy home has a HERS Index of 0. Older versions of the HERS index were based on a scale that was largely just the opposite in structure--a HERS rating of 100 represented a net zero energy...

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The Half Project -- projects to reduce energy consumption and green house gas emissions by half


The Renewable Energy site for Do-It-Yourselfers

Conservation Projects


The numbers in the watts column a (qty of lamps) (old bulb watts - CF lamp watts), and the KWH saving is:
(qty of lamps) (old bulb watts - CF lamp watts) (hours on per day) (365 days/yr)(1/1000) =
Again, this is pretty much in the no-brainer category.

Some more information on CFs and Mercury:


Duct Sealing


Insulating Window Treatments

Electric Mattress Pads

Vent Dryer Inside

Green House Gas Emissions:

Green House Gas gas reductions were estimated like this.

DIY Difficulty:

In the project descriptions, "DIY difficulty" is a 1 to 10 rating of how hard...

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I fully intended to replace the original floors in my shipping containers with new plywood, although I was not looking forward to the work involved. I had read of the chemicals used to treat the plywood floors and the potential health risks to humans, so I really didn’t think I had a choice. Everything that I had read though focused on Basileum SI-84 as the chemical of choice for plywood in shipping containers. When my containers arrived, I was surprised to find that they were treated with Radaleum FHP-60 instead of Basileum – not that I knew what Radaleum FHP-60 even was.

Container data plate

To find out what the plywood flooring has been treated with, you need to look at the container data plate. This should be attached to a door of the container, although they could be missing from containers that have been removed from service. The plate will have a section called “timber component treatment” with three parts separated by forward slashes. The first part “IM”...

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