Non-Energy Benefits of Floor Insulation
Return to Non-Energy Benefits index
A well-insulated floor (above a basement or crawlspace) can make your home more comfortable and quieter, reduce the risk of moisture damage, enhance fire safety, make your home more disaster-resistant, and help guard against pipe freezing.
A well-insulated floor can yield many sorts of benefits in addition to energy cost savings. For example, a well-insulated floor can:
- improve comfort. Floor insulation can make your home more comfortable by buffering your home against high outside temperatures in summer and cold temperatures in winter. Well-insulated floors will help minimize uncomfortable drafts. Additionally, the surface temperature of your floor will stay closer to the desired room temperature (so the floor is warmer to the touch in winter, for example).
- reduce moisture-related problems. Moisture can be introduced into floor cavities by outside weather conditions (humidity or precipitation) as well as indoor sources of moisture (people, showers, cooking, etc.) If the moisture meets cold surfaces along the way it can condense and invite mold growth or moisture damage problems.
- improve fire safety. Well-insulated building envelopes can improve fire safety by reducing air leakage that could otherwise nourish a fire. And, uneven (or missing) insulation can provide channels through which fires can spread. The use of approved products and installation practices (e.g. electrical safety measures) must be observed to guard against insulation-related fires.
- remain comfortable longer during power outages. Proper insulation reduces heat loss through the building envelope, allowing your home to remain comfortable and habitable longer during power outages.
- lower the risk of frozen water pipes. Water pipes in uninsulated basements or crawlspaces can be exposed to freeze damage; proper insulation will lower the risk. Hundreds of millions of dollars in insurance claims are filed each year for frozen water pipe damages. In relatively mild regions that experience occasional strong freezes, people often don't anticipate the problem and fail to take preventive measures ahead of time.
- Make your home quieter. A well-insulated building envelope can make your home quieter by blocking outdoor noise sources.