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How to Insulate Walls

Learn how to install blown-in, rigid foam or blanket insulation into a wall.
Excerpted from Do It Yourself Home Improvement

More in Windows Walls and Doors

Insulation is an important investment to reduce your energy bills, and exterior walls are the first place many people look for improving insulation. It's easiest to insulate during construction, while the stud walls are exposed, but insulation can be blown into stud bays. If you have the chance, make sure you have a vapor barrier in your exterior walls. In colder climates, the barrier should be placed on the warm-in-winter side of the insulation. Only interior walls tend to be insulated for soundproofing, but thermal insulation can be applied if required using the technique.

Insulate a Finished Wall With Loose Fill

Drill a hole into the wall, near the floor, for the insulation blower to fit inside (Image 1).

Insert a measure to check that the bay is empty. If you find obstructions that are not electrical, drill a new hole above the obstruction (Image 2).

Fill the blower's bin with loose-fill insulation (Image 3).

Push the blower's tube into the wall and begin to blow the insulation into the wall (Image 4).

When all of the bays in the wall are filled, patch the hole in the wall (Image 5), and reapply a building material and the exterior sheathing material to the wall (Image 6).

Insulate a Wall With Figid Foam Insulation

Measure the insulation board to fit between the studs (Image 1), and cut the board to length with a handsaw (Image 2).

Place the insulation board inside the stud bay (Image 3).

Tape or glue the board in place. Screw drywall panels in place over the insulation board (Image 4).

Insulate a Wall With Blanket Insulation

Measure the height of the stud bay where you will be placing the insulation and transfer this measurement to the insulation (Image 1).

On a plywood surface cut the insulation to size using a utility knife and metal straight edge (Image 2).

Place insulation in the stud bay, vapor barrier facing the warm side of the wall (Image 3). In the north, that's inside. In the south, that's outside.

Staple the flaps of the insulation to the studs (Image 4).

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Excerpted from Do It Yourself Home Improvement

© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

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