DIY Home Uses
A big thanks to T.A for sharing a picture of his water tank insulation project. T.A contacted us looking to insulate a 1500 gallon water tank that was purchased at Tractor Supply. The tank sits exposed in the Arizona heat and is used for drinking water. Here’s the excerpt from our contact us page.
Comment: have a 1500 gal. water tank, from tractor supply Co. need a wrap for it to reflect the AZ sun so it will not get to hot. any suggestions? I use it for our drinking water. Can you help me? thanks T.A
We recommended our InfraStop double bubble insulation in conjunction with using spacer strips to keep an airspace between the tank and the insulation for the optimal install. A similar application is insulating hvac ducts by wrapping the duct with 2” wide strips of double bubble and then wrapping the duct and spacers with the roll of insulation.
T.A sent this image back of his insulated water tank. Nice work, looks great! When asked what he did for spacers, here is his reply.
“went to Walmart and got the white foam,3/8 in thick used for sending packages. Comes in rolls or sheets and cut them in 2 in. strips and spaced them about 4 ins. apart and used the tape to hold it in place. Put them in up and down and made sure that they were resting on the slab. Did it my self but took a long time. if I do it again will have someone to help me here in the AZ heat at 95. I am 73 years young, a Vet and in good shape for the shape I'm in. LOL”
Thanks again, T.A. We really appreciate the picture and sharing your project.
A couple notes about why we recommended spacers. 1. The use of spacers will increase the r-value by utilizing a trapped air space. Again, in HVAC insulation, the r-value increases as spacers are used in the assembly. You can see more information on insulating ductwork. 2. In addition, the airspace also allows the emissive properties of the material to work. This means the inside reflective layer of the insulation, the side facing the spacers and water tank will only emit (the emissive value is opposite of the reflective value) 5% of the radiant heat that could pass through from the outside sun.
This is a bit technical but basically you have an effective radiant barrier blocking 95% of radiant heat on both sides of the insulation in this instance.
Take a look at this short post showing Infra insulation, the original reflective foil insulation used to insulate wood floor joists. The three examples are:
- In Floor Joist
- In Floor Joist – Radiant heat in floor joist
- In Floor Joist – Radiant heat imbedded in concrete
The italics text below is an excerpt from the Simplified Physics of Vapor and Thermal Insulation, by Alexander Schwartz.
The applications are the same today, see how to insulate floor joists with modern materials.
Radiant Heat and Wood Floor Techniques
Heat flow in Conduction and Radiation is from warm to cold in any direction. The ground or the cellar area below a floor is usually colder than the inhabited rooms above, so there is considerable wasteful heat flow downward; first by direct conduction through the floor, then by radiation from the under-surface of the floor to the cold ground or cellar floor.
Multiple accordion aluminum has negligible conduction through its air spaces. (In any air space, heat flow by conduction is only 5% to 7% at most.) There is no convection downward. The preponderant heat flow downward is by radiation. This will be reflected back 97% to augment the heat which the floor emits upward at a 90% rate. Multiple accordion aluminum can reduce original and upkeep heating cost.
Although we do not warrant InfraStop® for outdoor use, this doesn’t stop our customer from using it effectively in their projects.
Folks ask us all the time how the product will perform outside. Here’s a quick post showing what’s left of one of our customer’s wood racks. Thanks S.N for the photos. S.N used InfraStop® to cover 2 cords of wood. The 24” material was the perfect width to cover just the top leaving the sides exposed. S.N grommeted holes in the InfraStop® and tied off cut sections of 2x4”s for weights.
The InfraStop has been outside continuously since 2013 and as you can see is holding up fine. Note how the grommets are rusting out already.
Thanks S.N for the pictures. We appreciate them. In the next few months we put up some more posts showing InfraStop® insulation used outside. Here's a link to the roll size S.N used for a firewood tarp.
If you are looking for a way to improve the comfort of your home and protect it from the elements, insulating your crawlspace is the right thing to do. Fortunately, there are multiple benefits to improving these dynamic areas of your house. Look to the following advantages when deciding on whether to upgrade your crawlspaces.
One of the best parts about insulation is that it can keep critters from entering your home, which is positive for you and your loved ones. Whether it's roaches, spiders or mice, it is important to keep pests from turning your house into a breeding ground. No one likes to unwanted critters in their kitchen pantry or on their bathroom floor. By properly insulating your crawlspace, you're more likely to keep unwanted bugs and pests out of your living spaces.
Insulation also helps retain heat in your floors, which is important during the wintertime and can cut down on your utility bills. Whether you have vented or unvented crawlspaces, adding insulation greatly improves the way your home uses energy. Double-bubble foil insulation is an ideal crawlspace insulation because of its high thermal performance in crawlpsaces and that this performance is not affected by moisture which is vital in any crawlspace application.
Adding a protective layer of insulation also shields vital materials and structures within your home. It can keep mold from forming by keeping moisture out. Mold can pose serious health hazards to you and your family members, so keeping it out of your crawlspaces is a priority. Structural damage to your home can cost a lot of money and if it is bad enough you will need to hire a qualified contractor to repair and damages. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure in this case. If you want to increase the value of your home and protect it from the elements, then insulating your crawlspaces is the way to go. The benefits of this upgrade will make your home more comfortable, safe, and efficient.
It's a challenge for many homeowners to keep their homes cool in the summer time and warm in the winter time. But aside from creature comforts, there's also the issue of rising utility bills. In fact, for rooms in direct contact with the sun's rays, it's not uncommon for there to be a temperature swing of 20 degrees compared to rooms that are more shaded. Yes, homeowners can spend money on the likes of smart thermostats and expensive windows to stay comfortable - but there's the upfront cost involved in such actions, not to mention taking the chance that the expenditure will eventually pay off in energy savings.
Then there's also more affordable, yet equally effective, measures such as window insulation - specifically that of the reflective kind. What is reflective window insulation? Simply put, it's highly reflective aluminum foil with a bubble core that's placed on a window which works to reflect the sun's light, rather than absorb it. Covering windows in the summer prevents heat from entering the home, thereby keeping it more comfortable. And this type of window insulation reflects heat from both the inside and the outside, so it's capable of preventing heat from escaping when applied during the winter months as well.
Here's a look at some other benefits of reflective window insulation, compared to other energy-saving measures one can take around the home:
- Reusable: This variety of window insulation can be taken down and reapplied whenever a homeowner chooses, meaning that it can be used year after year for long-lasting effectiveness.
- Practical: While reflective window insulation may not be applicable for every room in your home - after all, you're likely going to want some sort of natural light entering the home regardless of the season - it's ideal for seldom used rooms, such as attics and guest bedrooms. It also works well in RV windows, car windows and more. You can even place the insulation on the rooftops to reflect the sun, which will also keep the home cooler.
- Affordable: Just because it's worth mentioning again, reflective window insulation is a preferred energy saving solution for households that are on a budget. Rather than ponying up hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars for state-of-the-art products to maintain creature comforts, there's a comparably low upfront cost associated with this product, which makes it even more attractive.
It's a fact that heating and cooling costs are rising and will likely only to continue to rise moving forward. But that doesn't mean that you can't do something about it. While there are several ways you can maintain creature comforts and keep energy costs manageable, reflective window insulation is one technology that is as practical as it is affordable.
This customer was interested in increasing his energy efficiency in his truss built attic in Newport, North Carolina. He choose InfraStop® IS for the 24" width which made it easy to install the insulation from the ridge to the eaves while going truss to truss. As you look at the pictures you will also notice HVAC duct lines running in the attic. This is very commonplace in certain areas of the country that are not prone to freezing temperatures. Notice the reflective duct wrap on the lines as this is definitely qualifies as an unconditioned attic space.
The customer also upgraded and used spray foam insulation on the attic floor to replace the few inches of blown in fiberglass that was there from years before. The new attic, properly insulated with both a radiant barrier and conductive/convective heat stopping spray foam insulation is certainly much more efficient and will make the home more comfortable in both the heating and cooling seasons. Read more details on the temperature change noticed by the customer by clicking on the picture to see all the pictures pertaining to this project.
We build homes in the United States differently in every local. This is primarily due to geographic concerns. For instance, many homes in the North have basements. This is not the case in the South where high water tables can make basements problematic. There are millions of homes built from Northern Florida to Ohio and Indiana that are built over crawl spaces.
Crawl spaces are an important and often misunderstood area of the home that can cause issues for a homeowner. Moisture, the number one concern in these areas, can attribute to high humidity, mold growth, and buckled hardwood flooring. Understanding how to deal with moisture can be further complicated by various crawl space ventilation and insulation techniques used.
Traditionally, homes in this region were built on posts or piers. Although not constructed optimally from an insulation perspective, the under floor area was perfectly vented and the ground temperature followed the ambient outside air temperature. As time moved on, we learned that crawl space temperatures follow seasonal temperatures. They are not as cool in the winter or warm in the summer as post or pier construction therefore heating and cooling costs can be reduced. Thus, crawl spaces became more common.
To ensure crawl spaces still behaved like post and pier buildings, crawl space ventilation became a code mandate in the 1950s. The basis for the code requirement was two-fold; that the primary source of crawl space moisture was evaporation from the ground, and that crawlspace ventilation would allow this moisture to escape. Eventually, we moved away from this code. After time, no significant evidence was available to support the mandate.
Today, many crawl spaces are closed. With the widespread use of air conditioning, most crawl spaces are now non-vented, especially in the East. The disparity of hot, humid outside air contacting interior cooled air is a recipe for condensation. The basic approach is simple.
Polyethylene ground sheets are now widely used as they inhibit evaporation from the crawlspace floor. Fiberglass insulation, which has proven to be ineffective in moisture prone areas, is being replaced with reflective insulation. Reflective insulation is not affected my moisture and its use under floor has two benefits. The first is the construction of the insulation. Because the insulation consists of reflective aluminum and polyethylene it cannot absorb moisture. The second benefit is its heat blocking ability that keeps inside heat in during the winter and out during the summer.
Coupled with a groundsheet and insulation, it is also vitally important to keep bulk water out of crawl spaces. Site grading is generally the most important consideration as drainage from pavement and roofs are a potentially huge water source. Paying attention to any plumbing maintenance is also critical.
The decision to seal or not depends largely on your climate. Identifying the various complexities involved in your specific house and paying attention to your climate and geography will help ensure you have a healthy, problem free crawl space with low moisture and good insulation.
If you want to combine insulation types, using reflective insulation and fiberglass insulation in a wall space can boost the R-value by 3.9 points. By utilizing reflective insulation, an R-21 total wall assembly can be created, with a vapor and moisture barrier.
In our InfraStop® line is a foil staple tab insulation product offered in 16", 24", and 48" widths. The staple tab option allows you to recess the insulation 3/4" into the stud bay.
This necessary 3/4" airspace is for the reflective insulation to operate optimally. This is also your goal while installing, to create continuous 3/4" airspace between the insulation and the interior panel, most often drywall.
For fiberglass insulation, choose R-19 un-faced option. You do not need the kraft back as the reflective insulation provides the vapor and moisture barrier. The un-faced is also less expensive.
To install, un-roll and cut the fiberglass insulation to length. Compress into the stud walls. To install the reflective insulation, unroll and cut to length. From the top, staple every 2", 3" as you go down the stud, compressing the fiberglass insulation as you go. Click the image for our installation page for this application.
The benefits of adding reflective insulation are two-fold. One, you get an increased thermal benefit, R-21, a 10% increase. Secondly, you get the major benefit of a radiant barrier. The reflective insulation will block 96% of radiant heat. This will pay dividends in comfort and in your pocket during the heating and cooling seasons.
Effective today, we are stocked and ready to offer our new InfraStop® Garage Door Insulation Kits. These kits are designed for the homeowner who wants to keep heat in during winter months or keep heat out in summer months. Each kit contains 4 rolls of insulation, double sided tape, a tape measure, disposable knife, and cleaning pads. These garage door insulation kits are offered in two options, foil/foil or foil/white exteriors.
With an R-Value rating of up to 6.0 these kits are your best, low cost alternative against radiant heat entering or leaving your garage. We offer free shipping on all orders.
Click the link to learn more about our garage door insulation kits.
Thanks for stopping at the InsulationStop, the leader in radiant barrier and reflective foil insulation products.
Spring is definitely here and in most climates in the country we have already experienced a warm spell. Chances are if your home is older and under insulated or you are located in a warm climate you have already felt the downward heat radiating from your attic.
Reflective insulation is the easiest, most efficient, and most economical choice when trying to block overhead heat gain. Every year about this time we start beating the drum to get in the attic and take a look around. Before you go up, don't forget to read, Adding Attic Insulation, Don't Forget the Radiant Barrier.