Weatherization Tips

Part 2 on Home Weatherization Series, by Scotts Contracting-St Louis Renewable Energy

Part 3 How to Build and Remodel to reduce Energy Loss / Gain in Todays Modern Buildings

How to Prevent Heat Loss with 4 Examples-Diagrams-Drawings for your Building Projects

In recent conversations with customers and peers about Reducing Energy Loss in Buildings / Structures and how heat and cold are transferred into a Building via Conduction. I explained and made reference to using a Metal Cooking Utensil to stir a pot of chilli.

If the utensil is left in the pot of chilli for any length of time. The heat will eventually transfer heat up the utensil handle and will usually burn your hand or fingers.

Heat and Cold enter a Building in the same way; unless, there is some form of Insulation or Thermal Break to prevent the conduction of energy.

Cooking utensil manufactures solve this issue by adding handles made of Wood, Plastic, etc.

The Building and Remodeling Industry combats this energy loss/gain in various ways. Here a few examples, diagrams, and drawings that show how this loss or gain is minimized.

When this heat/cold gain and loss is minimized you will save money on your Heating and Cooling Bills.

By renovating and building using these examples and basic design principles you will save money and reduce Global Warming / Climate Change.

  • Example 1. Adding Insulation on the exterior of the Building normally behind the exterior wall finish. This is normally used in conjunction with Insulation in the Wall Cavities.

    • Example 1 top view
      Example 1 Top View
      ISO View Example 1
      Example 1 Adding Insulation on the Exterior of Wall Framing
  • Example 2 – Staggered Wall Studs

  • 2x4 Staggered Studs to prevent Energy Loss and Gain
    Top View 2×4 Staggered Studs to Prevent Energy Loss and Gain
    2x4 Staggered Studs
    2×4 Staggered Studs Prevent Energy Loss and Gain
  • Example 3- Double Wall Construction

  • 2x4 Double Wall Construction
    2×4 Double Wall Construction to Prevent Energy Loss and Gain
    2x4 Double Wall Construction
    2×4 Double Wall Construction to Prevent Energy Loss and Gain
  • Example 4- Creating a Thermal Break by Adding Wall Channels

Thermal Break created by Wall Channels to prevent energy loss
Thermal Break created by Wall Channels to prevent energy loss
Thermal Break created by adding Wall Channels to prevent energy loss and gain
Thermal Break created by adding Wall Channels to prevent energy loss and gain
The above illustrations are just a few examples of how to prevent Energy Loss in a Building by adding: Insulation, Providing a Thermal Break, and Creating Dead Air Space. Examples 1 and 4 are used mostly in Remodeling and Renovation Projects. With examples 2 and 3 are used mainly in new construction of Buildings. For detailed information, proven scientific facts, about how energy is transferred I suggest reading the Article at Wiki on Heat Transfer at:
If you live in the St Louis Area and are interested in Saving Money on your utility bills by any of the above mentioned diagrams or illustrations I can be reached via:

Part 2 on Home Weatherization Series, by Scotts Contracting-St Louis Renewable Energy

Example of How a Box Sill is Constructed using Standard Building Techniques

Box Sill-What is it? And How to Insulate the Area 

In this Article I'm going to explain how to Seal and Insulate the Box Sill of your home and why it is important to add Insulation in this area of your Building. Adding Insulation will: Reduce the Energy Needs of your Property, while Increasing Your Personal Comfort level. 
  • Its a Win-Win option for any Home-Owner.

The Box Sill of your home is located underneath the flooring materials on the First Floor of your Home and consists of: Header Joist, Sill, Floor Joists, Sill Plate, Outside Joist. (If your home is built with a slab on grade this information does not apply to your Building.) Drawing 1 is the Typical or Standard Technique Home Builders use in constructing homes. It does not matter if your home has a Basement or a Crawl Space. It will be constructed similar if not identical to Drawing 1.

Why is it important to insulate this area?

  1. During the Winter months in cold climates this area is key to stopping the cold weather from seeping into your building. If the exterior flooring areas around your building are noticeably cooler during the winter months- I can almost guarantee that you have infiltration of outside air and cold seeping into the home through this area.
  2. During the Summer Months: Warm Air will Infiltrate this area of your Home and continue upwards and into your Home. This will cause additional cooling loads on your AC System and your Electric Bills will reflect the needs for the added use. It will cost more money for you to cool your home to a comfortable temperature.
  • There are a few ways to Insulate and Seal this area against the unconditioned outside air. All of which may require you to roll-up your sleeves and get a little dirty. Don't let that stop you. You Can Do It and the $ Money $ you save will come back to you in savings for both “heating and cooling” costs associated with your home. There are a few recommended procedures for Sealing and Insulating this area. I'm going to cover my preferred ways of sealing and insulating this area of your Building.
    My preferred way to insulate and seal this area is by using Closed Cell Foam Insulation. Applied to a finish Depth 1- 6in. This material both seals the Air and Insulates at the same time- Utilizing Closed Cell Spray Foam Insulation is a time saver and reduces the labor costs.
In Illustration 1007 shows a before picture.

Photo Did NOT Load Correctly Working on Problem Scotty

Illustration 1008 Completely Sealed and Insulated Box Sill with Closed Cell Spray Foam Insulation.

Completely Sealed Box Sill with Closed Cell Spray Foam Insulation

Illustration 2 1008- Notice how the Closed Cell Spay Foam Insulation seals the Entire Area to an average depth of 6-7 Inches. This provides an estimated R30-42 Value. The Closed Cell Spray Foam not only Insulates but seals the area from the UN-wanted air from infiltrating your Building and requiring your Furnace or HVAC from having to work harder to cool or heat your Building. In other words it saves you $ Money $ by reducing your Electricity Costs and Gas Needs. The Closed Cell Spray Foam Insulation also acts as a guard against unwanted bugs and insects that may try to take up residence in the Box Sill Area.
Here are some handy DIY tips from Foam It Green
All Foam It Green® Standard Spray Foam Insulation Kits are:
  • Designed for Quick and Easy Use and Professional Results
  • R-6.7 at 1 Inch, CLOSED CELL foam
  • ASTM E-84 Fire Rated Insulation
  • 100% Free of CFC's, VOC's, Penta-BDE's, Urea Formaldehyde  
  • Designed for use with no outside source of pressure or power.
  • Bulk Pricing Available for 6 or More Kits
  • A Fit-Tested Respirator Mask is Required when Applying Spray Foam Insulation.
  • A Mask with Organic Vapor Filters and a Prefilter for Particulates is Required.

The Second and more labor intensive way to insulate the Box Sill of your home is by:

  1. Sealing All the places where the: Header Joist, Sill Plate, Floor Joists, Rim Joist, and Foundation with Caulk and then
  2. Insulate the Area with 8in Batt Insulation. The estimated Rvalue of Batt Insulation is R19. Or
  3. Insulate with ISO Foam Board Insulation. Depending upon the Thickness Chosen the ISO insulation has an estimated Rvalue of R6 per inch and comes in thickness ranging from 1in to 4 inches. ISO insulation can also be layered to create Higher Rvalues.
See Drawing 2 for an example of Insulating with the above mentioned types of Insulation.

If you decide that this DIY Box Sill Insulation Project for your Home is a bigger project than you can handle Scotts Contracting is available to assist you in your Green Building Home Improvement Project Needs. Scotty supplies firm estimates for every job. What this means is that-
  1. He will inspect the areas to be repaired or improved on.
  2. Take Digital Photos of the Areas to be worked on- Pointing out any areas in Dis-repair, Damaged, or Areas to be Improved upon. With Special Attention on Areas that are causing excessive heat loss or gain.
  3. Scotts Contracting will then go over the entire project with you while showing you the photos of the Areas to be improved upon. Explaining-
  • Why the area needs Improvement
  • How it is costing you $ Money $ on your heating and cooling bills
  • Best Solution(s) to Repair the Problem Area
  • While answering any questions and addressing your Concerns
  • Scotty will then determine all the needed materials to fix the areas in question, and
  • Present you with a Firm Proposal of both the: Labor and Material Costs with payment schedule and then schedule a time to perform the repairs that is as least intrusive to your schedule as possible.
  • Upon completion and Final Payment- Scotts Contracting will provide you with any needed forms to file for the Tax Benefits/Credits that you may be entitled to for adding Green Building Up-Grades on your Property. (For Web Resources on the Applicable Programs see the Reference Section Below)
  • (A) Because of Scotty's prior Experience from working in the Construction Industry and Training in Residential and Commercial Drafting / Design. He is able to for-see many of the issues that the other contractors miss when they are performing their visual inspections and making out their material lists. (See About Me Web Link for Training and Experience)
  • (B) It is for these same reasons that Scotts Contracting can- Determine: Material Costs with-out having to buy UN-needed materials that add to your Projects Material Costs. This eliminates
  • UN-Needed Trips- to and from the Lumber Yard. Leaving him to spend the time on your project.
  • Cuts down on Waste of UN-Needed Materials and Job Site Left-Overs

    Prior Home Weatherization Articles Can Be Found on the Web Links

  1. St Louis Renewable Energy Old Man Winter
  2. Closed Cell Foam It Green Spray Foam Insulation-Foam It Green®
Attic Insulation-Energy Solutions
  • Part 1 on Home Weatherization Series

Attic Insulation-I've put a little information to explain Attic Insulation for a Home. It takes a whole house approach to Reduce a Home's Energy Needs.

  • The Attic Area and Attic insulation being just
    one area.  When Combined with a Green Roofing System- The pair
    combined are your First Defense Against Rising Energy Costs.

Air Infiltration areas be resolved before adding insulation- Stop the Air (Hot or Cold) From Entering or Leaving a Home.

  • This includes: proper attic ventilation, ceiling
    protrusions(Light Boxes / Ceiling Fan), access points, mechanical
    and electric points, Attic Knee Walls, Obtrusion's-
  • Anything that will allow the unconditioned air
    from the Exterior of the Home

Adding Radiant Barriers for Existing Buildings-in a nutshell this bounces the Exterior Temperature back outside. Radiant Barriers are being used in more Construction Projects in today's construction techniques to assist homeowners with additional savings on utility bills.

  • Attached to the Underneath Side of Existing Rafters-
    Best Option for Retrofits
  • Reflective Radiant Barriers have R-Values that
    range from R-3.7 to R-17

Prior Experience: R30 2x4 Vaulted Roof System Example #105:

  • Light Color Shingles on Exterior
  • 1 in roof decking
  • 2x4 Rafters 16" Space
  • R13 Batt Insulation
  • Double Sided Radiant Barier
    • Also Acts as Vapor Barrier
  • Adequate Ventilation Provided by
    • Automatic Power Attic Fan Peak of Roof
    • Proper Vents in Soffits and Gable Ends

Energy Savings:

  • Reduced the Need for 1 window AC unit in Typical
    Two Story Stick Built Home-
  • This translates to a Savings of $30 / Month during
    Cooling Months or $120-$160 / Year.
    • This Application Payed for itself in the 1st Summer
      06. At the time of writing this article the estimated savings for 5
      yrs is $600.  This Pays for 100% of the Materials used in the
      Green Roof System for the Upstairs Bedroom Remodel.
  • The Only drawback reported by owner (which
    wasn't really a drawback since it was his teen-age sons room
    was the decrease in cell phone reception,
    • This is caused by the Reflective Nature of the
      Reflective Foil Radiant Barrier.

Attic Add Insulation to meet Suggested Guidelines for the St
Louis Area

Energy Star, Department of Energy, US Government Suggestions for
Optimum Home Energy Savings (Reference Links Below)

  • w/ no insulation Add Insulation to achieve=R38 to
  • If existing 3-4 inches Add Insulation to achieve=R38
  • Suggested needed R value of Insulation on Attic
    Floor=R25 to R30

Insulation when used in conjunction with a Radiant Barrier can lower the Cost of Insulation by reducing the Amount of Insulation Needed

Scotts Contracting is Available to assist you in improving your “Homes Energy Efficiency”

When Scotty comes over to perform an estimate.

  1. He will inspect for the above mentioned problem
  2. Discuss the various solutions.
  3. Next-Determine the Materials and Labor Needed to
    Complete and Fix the Areas Quoted in the Project.
  4. I'll then submit a Project Proposal that will
    discuss project in detail.
  5. Answer any Questions, Explain Procedures, and
    determine the least obtrusive time to Weatherize your Home.
  6. Computerized Energy Audits for your Home for
    Estimated Energy Savings are also available- [Equest, Sam, HEED are  just a few of the programs I am currently using. The Latest
    Simulated Advisory Model Beta is in the testing stages and being
    offered by the US Department of Energy].

Looking forward to meeting you and discussing the ways I can help with Lowering your Energy Bills for your Home or Business. 

I encourage everyone to utilize the above information to Weatherize Your Home or Schedule a Free Green site evaluation-

Scotty will Weatherize You Building Against the High Costs of Ameren UE Electricity Rates that increase your Homes Summer Time Cooling Costs- Any Green Projects done to reduce energy needs reduces Pollution from burning Fossil Fuel to create our Electricity.

I will Save You $Money$!!!!

Scotty, Scott's Contracting

Green Me UP-Scotty

Referrence Materials:

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