Don’t Forget to Insulate the Ground

“Don’t forget to insulate the ground” could also be interpreted as don’t forget to isolate the ground. Now more than ever people are focused on increasing the insulation value of walls and attics and looking for ways to reduce energy costs/consumption and gain added comfort. Installing less drafty windows, air sealing buildings, and upgrading insulation are all good to increase comfort and decrease energy costs. Installing rigid foam insulation, like INSTA-PANELS®, can stop heat from radiating into the ground. The basement floor is a huge heat sink that consumes energy all heating season long. The term “don’t forget to insulate or isolate the ground” comes from this.

When we increase the R-value of the rest of the house or building, we push heat to a traditional uninsulated area, like the ground or basement floor. Although the ground doesn’t freeze and is 55F, the delta from the inside of a home to the ground is still 20F, and therefore heat is constantly going into the ground.

It’s true hot air rises and cold air falls, but heat always moves from hot to cold. Think about it for a second. Can you warm your kitchen by turning on your gas stove burners? Try cooling your kitchen by keeping your fridge or freezer door open.

Increasing R-value in other areas of your building will not yield results at some point, and therefore the ground is an area you need to isolate. Using INSTA-PANELS® is a great choice for insulating under your concrete floors whether they are heated or just a traditional concrete slab. The comfort gained by keeping your concrete slab warm cannot be understated. In my 25-plus years of being in the insulation industry, there have been countless times where people have come to me and expressed how satisfied they were with their insulated concrete floors; for example, I had a customer in the Niagara Peninsula who told me that had he known that the insulation alone in the basement floor of his house made that much difference, he would never had installed radiant heat in his previous two homes.

Don’t forget to insulate the ground.

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