Barn Insulation and Fuel Sources
This entry was posted on February 27, 2012.
One of the most enjoyable things about our job is we offer products to consumers that save them money. Insulation. Everyone needs insulation to some capacity. I bet the people who make and sell great winter coats like the fact they offer a good product at a good price.
This post is about a conversation we had with a potential customer who is looking to insulate his on slab pole barn and wanted to create a finished insulation system. He already has single bubble reflective one side in the rafters but that is the extent of his barn insulation. He is interested in insulating the side walls and running a second layer of material across the bottom of the trusses effectively creating a ceiling 12' high.
What is interesting in talking to the customer and about his specific building is that he wants to be able to keep the building at mid 40° F hopefully 50° F when the outside temperature is -10° F during a Montana winter. If this was a residential house without any other insulation with a residential heating system in Montana, this would be financial suicide. You would be essentially paying your local utility company extra money because you are way under insulated for your climate and preferred heating temperature.
But, if this is your shop and you have a good heating system installed and access to resources like firewood in this case, reflective insulation is an easy low cost alternative to spending a lot of money on insulation. You only need to pay a lot for insulation when you have to pay a lot to heat or cool your building.
In this customer's case, insulating the sidewalls will finish his insulation system. Basically, sealing the building is the first, best step to heat retention. Lowering the insulating space by running insulation across the bottom of the trusses and creating a ceiling as the customer suggested will also be helpful. The nice thing is the customer can insulate the sidewalls first and add the second layer overhead at a later date if they feel it is required.
It is always important to understand your goals and costs when evaluating how you should insulate your buildings. Looking closely at your usage, heating costs, insulation costs, and lifespan you will own the building will give you a good idea of how much you should pay for insulation. Looking at a particular project in detail is always helpful in demonstrating how effective and cost effective using our or any insulation will be.