My side of the bed is cold - It's about the comfort!

I received a call from one of our customers a few weeks ago.  She said her side of the bed was cold and she doesn't want to live thru another winter with it being cold. 

In 2009, we performed an energy audit on the house they recently purchased in Arlington/Falls Church...the property is 1/2 in Arlington and 1/2 in Falls Church.  We performed an energy audit and found they had poor insulation in the attic, basement band boards, their hvac system was coming to the end of its life and windows and new doors would be a comfortable investment.  They also have a 25" cantilevered overhang at the front of the house.  Our infrared camera picked up air infiltration along the front of the 2nd floor and thru the ducts in the front of the house.  We noted that the front overhang was not built to current standards and they would probably notice the floor along the front of the house would be much colder in the winter. We air sealed the attic, band boards, installed new Energy Star windows, and replaced the 3 exterior doors with Energy Star doors. They also replaced their furnace with a high efficiency unit.  But that wasn't enough to balance out the temperatures in the front of the house. For 3 years, the wife endured the discomfort of being on the cold side of the bed. 

Cantilever not air sealed or insulated

You can see here that the joist bays are open to the interior ceiling. The basic physics happening here is that the space between the 1st and 2nd floor is being heated, but the air is moving from hot to cold. In this case, the heat is escaping thru the overhang, making the floor cold, and causing the one on the wrong side of the bed discomfort.  This is a common building flaw even in homes built today, but the solution is rather simple.

airsealing and insulating cantilever

We are installing an R-13 rated rigid insulation above the interior wall and sealing the edges with foam. This separates the "interior" floor space from the "exterior" floor space.  The joist bays are filled with insulation.  In this case the insulation is R-38 to fill the 2 x 12 framing cavity.  The cavity should be completely filled, without compressing the batts of insulation. Lastly, a new sheet of sheathing is installed and finished off.

I'm looking forward to hearing how much better this homeowner sleeps this winter.


Reply to comment | The Avenue Builders | Alexandria , VA

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