Insulate and Weatherize - Review
If you read the site with any regularity, you know that our 1915 farmhouse has some insulation issues. And when we say 'insulation issues,' what we really mean is that large portions of it simply aren't insulated at all. Over the past few months we've been trying to tighten things up, but our efforts have been a bit random and unfocused. Thankfully, though, Taunton recently sent us a copy of Insulate and Weatherize which we immediately read cover to cover. The bad news is that our situation is way worse than we thought, but the good news is that we now have an informed and comprehensive plan of attack.
It's tough to characterize what's in this book, but it goes way beyond insulating and weatherizing. The best way we can explain it is that it's a complete guide to efficiently conditioning the air and water within the four walls of your house. The book takes you through all of the major areas of your house (attic, basement, living space) as well as all of the major systems (water, heating, cooling) and describes every possible way that heat can be lost as well as how to contain that heat. The whole time it's a great split between hands-on tutorials and big-picture thinking. If you want to know the best way to insulate the ceiling of your basement, it's in there, but if you're just looking to understand how heat transfers from one material to another, it's also in there.
So when you read the title of this book, don't think that it's all 'R-values' and 'rigid vs fiberglass.' It's not. It's much, much more and anyone looking for a deeper knowledge of the way that their house works would be well served to read it.
And if you're one of those people, like us, who loves leaky, drafty old houses, this book will become an essential part of your library.
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Posted by Doug Mahoney at January 25, 2010 5:05 AM
I am almost finished reading this book, too. It's fascinating. I wish there were a follow-up edition to cover more technical aspects of the topics it covers, such as drafting and implementation of a complete insulation plan during new building construction, a bit on commercial construction, and most importantly, sizing and installation of distribution systems. I'll have to search for more specific books when this one is complete, but this one is a great place to start!