It’s payback time…. insulating a 1958 split-level house

We’re moving soon to a “normal house” built in 1958, and that means beginning to ponder what heating-system, insulation and air-sealing projects to embark on.

My go-to blogger will be Marc Rosenbaum:
http://blog.energysmiths.com/2011/07/basement-insulation-progress.html

Here’s what we will be working with. The house is a split-level with 4 different living levels all separated by half-flights.

My first thought is that the way to go is to get a pellet-stove installed in the main living area. There’s a good central spot for one. The house is currently heated with a forced-hot-air (FHA) furnace with smallish “high-velocity” ductwork. But my guess is that in the winter it probably heats up the basement level like crazy, which is a waste since we won’t use that much. So like with our pellet stove in our previous Shutesbury, MA house** (and with Marc in his post above), getting point-source heat (a pellet stove) directly on the living floor will make a lot of sense. It will effectively limit the amount of space we are heating.

(**Our basement in Shutesbury definitely got down to at least 45 if not 40 sometimes. And we still ran the FHA occasionally. Nice.)

Other obvious things will be to improve the insulation on the 3 attic hatches. (as in… add insulation and air sealing. There is none now!)

And generally go nuts with cellulose in the attic.

And ponder what to do about the rooms above the 1 car garage since there is probably no insulation in those floors. Or basically none.

Payback will be an important consideration.

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