Floor insulation is insulation which is installed in a floor. Installing floor installation can cut down on energy costs, make a home more efficient, and contribute to the longevity of a home. While not ideal for every setting, insulation in flooring can sometimes make a big difference. Numerous materials can be used in floor insulation, including layered materials such as reflective foil to bounce heat back into a home, backed with fiberglass insulation to keep the floor insulated from temperature exchanges.
Historically, floors were not insulated under the argument that heat rises, so people should concentrate their energy on preventing heat loss through ceilings and walls which can occur as hot air moves upward through a home. However, heat loss through flooring can still occur when the area under the floor is not climate controlled. Thus, neglecting to insulate a floor can contribute to higher energy bills because heating systems will need to work harder to keep the space warm.
A floor is a good candidate for insulation if the space below is not heated and is fully vented. Creating insulation between heated spaces, as for example between a finished basement and a house, does not make sense unless people are concerned about noise control. Insulating a poorly vented space can trap moisture in and under the floor, which can damage the house. Likewise, if the area under the floor is wet, it needs to be equipped with proper drainage before floor insulation is installed, or moisture could become a problem.
Floor insulation can be blown in to some types of flooring, or installed manually, in the form of batting. There are a number of approaches which can be used, depending on the flooring. People who would like to insulate their floors should talk to a contractor about insulation options, and ask the contractor to assess their home to make sure that floor insulation is a sensible choice.
One thing to think about with floor insulation is that while warm floors can increase comfort in a home, the cost of insulating a floor properly may outweigh the costs associated with a less efficient home. Small savings may not be worth it, unless people simply dislike the idea of wasted energy, or find cold floors especially frustrating and uncomfortable. An energy audit can be performed to determine how much floor insulation would save in energy costs, and to identify other areas where savings might be found.