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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    89

    Default Weather and sound insulation questions.

    Hi all,

    My house was built in the early 1950's and has no insulation in the attic or walls. Weather isn't a huge issue where I live, as it rarely gets below 50 during the winter, and rarely hit's the 90's in the summer.

    With that being said, I recently had an HVAC system installed (we had some abnormally cold nights this winter!), and the neighbors that live behind us have outdoor speakers, which they regularly play as they host parties in the summer.

    I'd like to add some insulation - if possible - to our home in order to make our HVAC investment more cost effective. Additionally, it'd be great to have any sort of sound protection.

    Without any insulation, our walls simply consist of wood siding - empty space - and then the drywall material that is the inside of the home. Any thoughts on;

    -- if it'd even be helpful to add insulation in the walls for temperature and noise?
    -- is it a challenge to fill walls with insulation - as in would all the siding need to come off the walls, or would all the drywall need to be removed/punched and replaced?

    Thanks for any feedback on this!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    2,025

    Default Re: Weather and sound insulation questions.

    There are some insulations that can be added through small holes in the wall, which will have to be patched later. One issue with some of those is moisture control. If there is no vapor barrier, then moist warm air from inside the house will migrate into the insulation and condense. The condensation could rot out the walls.

    A slow acting, closed cell foam would work in this case, but it is the highest cost option when compared to other "blow-in" insulations. In the long run, some or all of the extra cost could be offset by not having to replace all your sheetrock and in energy savings.

    For soundproofing, I saw a building show on PBS, not TOH, that made claims that rockwool has superior sound deadening. For this, you will need to tear out the sheetrock and install it like fiberglass batts. You will probably have to special order it as it isn't very popular. It is also not quite as efficient as fiberglass. If you have the room, you could add 2" furring strips to your studs while the sheetrock is removed and put in thicker batts. More efficiency and more sound deadening too.

    If you remove the drywall, there are some noise abatement products that you can put between the studs and your new drywall to help curb the noise.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Weather and sound insulation questions.

    I recently had an HVAC system installed (we had some abnormally cold nights this winter!), and the neighbors that live behind us have outdoor speakers, which they regularly play as they host parties in the summer.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    MIchigan
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: Weather and sound insulation questions.

    For acoustic performance, Fiberglass = mineral wool = cellulose = polyester = cotton. If you have some insulation there now for crying out loud keep it. Just add more thermal insulation to what you have now.
    ____________________
    Keeping it Quiet

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    3,201

    Default Re: Weather and sound insulation questions.

    Adding more insulation to your home may make your new HVAC system less efficient. It was sized for the heat loss / gain of your home. By changing the parameters of that equation, the amount of heat/cooling will be less, thus making your system over-sized. Aside from adding the insulation, speak with your HVAC installer about the size of the unit.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    2,025

    Default Re: Weather and sound insulation questions.

    "Adding more insulation to your home may make your new HVAC system less efficient. It was sized for the heat loss / gain of your home. By changing the parameters of that equation, the amount of heat/cooling will be less, thus making your system over-sized."

    True, but added insulation will still save the homeowner money. The system was sized for the maximum heat loss/gain so it only works at peak efficiency on the coldest/hottest days. Cool/warm days are not going to tax the system as much. The loss in efficiency due to cycling on/off will be very minor compared to the savings of not cycling it on and off nearly as often.

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