Today managing an energy efficient home is extremely important. Not only does the average homeowner have to consider his or her carbon footprint but also the level of energy bills given that a lot of heat is lost through inefficient or a lack of insulation. If you happen to have a carpet on your floors then you are helping to keep your energy bills low without even knowing it.
The carpet acts as insulation and will keep heat in, thus preventing it escaping. However, if you have a wooden floor then it is less efficient and may also be cold to the touch in winter, which is why it is important to get your subfloor insulation sorted out sooner rather than later.
Every house has a subfloor. It is basically the barrier between your foundations and the flooring in your lounge, kitchen and any other rooms on the first floor of your house. It is made of either concrete or wooden floorboards and your wooden flooring should be attached to it via the glue down method, floating installation or nailing it down.
The subfloor insulation should be laid below your flooring and can be placed in your foundations if you have a basement or a crawlspace. Alternatively, it can be laid between your subfloor and your wood flooring in the form of underlay. Carpets commonly have underlay but not all wooden flooring does. However, it is not wise to leave it out
If you have carpet then having subfloor insulation is not as much of an issue. It is still highly recommended today to prevent as much heat as possible escaping. However, it is essential to get it sorted it your wood flooring is in place and your subfloor is exposed.
Not only will heat escape through a subfloor but it can also act poorly when it comes to ensuring that all heat is not absorbed. The concrete will absorb the heat in your rooms in winter because it is so cold. Wooden subfloors will as well but not quite as much.
Your Installation Options
You have two options for subfloor insulation – above and below the subfloor.
1. Below The Subfloor – If you have a basement then it is easy to insulate the walls and floor to prevent heat escaping. You can simply put up drywall over an insulated layer, of which fiberglas is the best possible material to keep the heat within the house. However, if you have crawlspace then it can be difficult to establish insulation there because there is limited space as it is, not to mention navigating the electrical wires and plumbing pipes. For the sheer amount of money you can save with insulation though, a slightly reduced manoeuvrability is worth it.
2. Above The Subfloor – An underlay below a carpet or wood flooring serves two purposes, which effectively makes it essential. It actually prevents moisture rising into your flooring from the subfloor and also prevents heat leaving the other way. The underlay can be in the form of a protective membrane that is designed to specifically prevent damp seeping in or it can be a layer of plywood of about a half inch thick. This will absorb excess moisture and keep heat in at the same time. Although it is not the thick insulation that you would usually expect, it still serves a purpose.