Insulation Inspections for Home Energy Ratings

January/February 2005
This article originally appeared in the January/February 2005 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
Click here to read more articles about Energy Efficiency Programs
January 01, 2005
Assessing insulation gaps, compression, and incomplete fill provides a way to measure installation effectiveness.
        Poorly installed insulation can significantly impair the thermal performance of building components.We’ve all seen thermography images of insulated surfaces that clearly show that the insulation is inadequate.We’ve all seen batts that are placed carelessly, loose-fill insulation that looks like the Rocky Mountains, or exterior rigid foam installed not just with gaps between the sheets,but barely even touching the rest of the wall. Quantitative research generally supports the idea that insulation must be installed carefully to maintain its rated performance, and energy codes require proper installation. A statement such as “All insulation materials… shall be installed in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions” is found in every published edition of the Model Energy Code (MEC) and the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).         Manufacturer’s instructions aren’t always what you get in the field. Most installation instructions require fluffing insulation to the proper thickness, covering continuously, filling cavities completely, and fitting products around all obstructions, such as wiring, plumbing, and framing. However, insulation is difficult to install perfectly—and in most markets, with installers paid by ...

To read complete online articles, you need to sign up for an Online Subscription.

Once an order has been placed there is an automatic $10 processing fee that will be deducted with any cancellation.

The Home Energy Online articles are for personal use only and may not be printed for distribution. For permission to reprint, please send an e-mail to

Harness the power of

Get the Home Energy