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Curious what the best way is to retrofit (air/vapor seal) my home to make it more durable & energy efficient

SpencerShemwell | Posted in General Questions on

I have a ranch style home with a walk-out basement on a poured concrete foundation. It is framed with 2×4 walls, fiberglass batt insulation, OSB exterior sheathing, standard housewrap, floor/roof trusses, tar paper on roof and shingles. The basement is finished. It’s a pretty standard house. I want to get the most bang for my buck without tearing down and rebuilding. I am in Virginia, climate zone 4. What would be the best way to go about doing this?

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  1. Andrew_C | | #1

    Martin has summarized a lot in a previous article:

    Even if you want to poke around and/or do the work yourself, if you've got the money a good energy audit (with blower door test and infrared camera) is money well-spent, IMO. And it may be a prerequisite for getting credit from utility companies for energy upgrades.

    Can't emphasize enough that air-sealing comes before insulation.

  2. Andrew_C | | #2

    And the Energy Efficiency Pyramid also helps prioritize:

  3. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #3

    You've gotten good advice. Start with an energy audit -- that usually means a blower-door test and an infrared scan. You may even want to see if the blower-door test can be combined with a longer session that includes blower-door-directed air sealing.

    You may want to read this article:

    Air Sealing an Attic

    -- Martin Holladay

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