Q: What are you doing to insulate your homes better?

A: We are now using better products and techniques.

When we learned to build homes better based on Building Science—we had a rude awakening. I thought we had been building homes that were well insulated. What we were doing was insulating homes based on building codes. Building codes are really the minimum standards to which you want to build. That was and is not how we want to operate—building to the minimum.

To insulate better we learned that we needed to design the homes differently which requires different framing techniques.

The exterior walls with conventional framing will lose heat—some industry experts call it “Heat Bleeding”. To counter this we now frame our homes with an advanced framing technique where we stagger the studs. The staggering will create a thermal break which minimizes the heat loss associated with conventional framing. We use a blow in fiberglass product by Owens Corning. What is neat about this product is that it is designed not to settle—whereas most batten insulation products will. This product also weaves behind the staggered studs to allow for the thermal break.

We all know that heat rises. Your attic insulation is critical. The code states R-38 (think of this as a thickness level of insulation). We learned that R-60 is what is needed. A simple change that makes a big difference. Standard trusses do not allow for adequate insulation for where the trusses sit on the walls. We now use a “Raised Heel Truss” that lets us insulate properly around the roof perimeter.

Every homeowner should check their attic insulation. Pay particular attention to the perimeter. In most cases it was not installed with the detail needed to perform. About a quarter of a home’s heat loss occurs in this area of a home’s attic.

Build well and enjoy life.

Please submit questions to jon@quailhomes.com Jon can be reached direct at 360.907.5800. Tune into Green Building with Jon Girod on 1550 a.m. on Saturdays at 9 am. See you next week!