Posted by: lcowie | November 16, 2010

Finding Gaps in a Home’s Insulation

Homeowners aren’t aware of the areas in their homes that lack insulation. This is where the BPI Building Analyst or BPI accredited contractor comes into play. You can use an infrared thermal camera, or your own training and knowhow, to spot gaps in the insulation. Infrared cameras are great, but they’re expensive, so you may want to focus your attention to common problem areas, like recessed lights.

Generally, when you spot recessed lights, you can usually be guaranteed that there is no insulation, especially if the home is somewhat older and you are conducting its first energy audit. The way recessed lighting fits into the wall, it provides a huge opportunity for space – space that is often unfilled.

Even when covered with insulation, however, recessed lights pump conditioned air out of the house. This is why you see so many articles criticizing recessed lights.

Eliminate the air leakage by locating fixtures inside the insulated envelope or using insulated can, air-tight (ICAT) recessed fixtures. Existing recess lighting can have 3” minimum clearance on all sides, but the best choice is ICAT if at all possible.

If you have recessed lighting, what do you usually recommend to homeowners for insulation?

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