Inside Exterior Walls – Cold Climates

keeping the heat inside – how to insulate your exterior walls

This method is best for primarily cold climates.

Installing a radiant barrier in the walls is done just like the cathedral ceiling method. For cold climates, this application is MOST EFFECTIVE when you are using some type of radiant heat source (baseboard heat, wood/pellet stove, in-floor radiant heat, fireplace, etc.) versus just using a forced air system. When you are trying to keep heat from escaping, it is best to have the foil closest to the inside of the room as possible, while still maintaining an air space on one side of the foil. You will add the foil over the insulation in the walls, then create an air gap and finish with the sheetrock.

The Layers of the Wall

This method is used primarily in colder areas that are concerned about keeping heat inside the room/home.

Just like the other wall method for keeping heat out, think in terms of layers and how the heat is flowing from the INSIDE of the home through the wall to the OUTSIDE of the home. The purpose of adding radiant barrier to the wall is that the radiant barrier will act as the first line of defense against radiant heat loss, and then the regular insulation will be the second line of defense against conductive heat loss.

Here are the layers as they should be installed:

  • Inside of the home
  • Sheetrock/drywall
  • Airspace created by wood or foam furring strips run across (perpendicular/horizontally) or parallel/vertical with the studs.
  • AtticFoil™ Radiant Barrier Foil – you might need the SOLID VAPOR BARRIER FOIL – non-perforated. Check with your local building inspector as to what is recommended in your area. Foil is typically pulled across the face of the wall studs and sealed with foil tape on the seams.
  • Regular insulation
  • Exterior sheathing
  • Brick/stone/siding
  • Outside air

For similar installation instructions, read Installing Radiant Barrier in a Cathedral Ceiling to Keep the Heat In.

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