Make your house more energy efficient
One question I am asked on *almost* every inspection: “How can I make this house more efficient?” That is usually followed by “… without spending much money.” In my next few posts, I will share some of my more common suggestions. Have something you’d like addressed specifically? Let me know and I’ll work it in to an upcoming post and/or our newsletter!
1. Insulate your rim joists! My what!? Your rim joists. The boards that secure the outer ends of your floor joists around the perimeter (rim) of your house, just on top of your foundation (see picture). In older homes, the sills and rim joist may be the same structure.
One of the most cost-effective ways to insulate this area is to cut fiberglass insulation batts to size and fit them in to the space between the floor joists. Insulation is available at your local home improvement store and lumber yards. (I recommend to utilize your local lumber yard, as the staff is much more knowledgeable and up-to-speed on the latest technologies). 6″ thick insulation should do the trick for most structures. Pick up some comfortable work gloves, safety glasses, dust masks, and a good utility knife to work with the insulation if you don’t have these already. Now, before you shove insulation in the pockets, check for any moisture or sawdust-like material, as this could be indicative of carpenter ant (or other wood-destroying pest) activity (see an earlier post for more information).
I shouldn’t have to say it, but if you see something out of the ordinary, ask a professional for some guidance (Remember the knowledgeable guy at the lumber yard?) Heck, feel free to email me a picture of anything in question and I’ll do my best to help you out too…
When you insulate with fiberglass, the insulation should be held in place by friction. You can always piece it together too! Don’t pack it in too tight, as compressed insulation is not effective!