Energy Efficient Flooring

Energy efficiency is on the minds of most home owners these days. The rising cost of power motivates many to seek ways to improve the efficiency of their home. People can start from the bottom up and think of ways to make their floors efficient.

A lot of floors really don’t insulate the home. Rock flooring, tiles, or even vinyl don’t contribute a lot to insulation. Carpet does provide some insulation. Having added floor foam just about doubles the insulation value of carpet so for just its insulation value alone, some rooms can do with carpet. Low foot traffic rooms like bedrooms can be cozier having carpet installed as flooring. For areas that don’t have carpet, area rugs can give your feet a little bit of insulation but they don’t really help for the home efficiency at all. It might just be best to wear warm socks for cooler weather.

For better efficiency and if the home structure allows it, putting in insulation under the floor or in the crawl space would help. Doing this can help trap cool air in the summer from AC units and keep warmer air in during winter months.

It’s also important to think about the type of floors that are conducive to insulation which can help lower your power bill.

Hardwood – Timber is a natural at insulating. The timber fiber cells have microscopic air spaces that act like a double-paned glass insulator. Less dense hardwoods are better insulators as denser ones are more compact and conduct heat faster. Using lighter hardwood flooring provides great comfort for the feet as well as helps a home be more energy efficient. It can help better control heat loss or heat gain.

Tile or stone floor – If you live in an area that is hot most of the time, it’s probably best to use stone tile as it is cooler for the feet. It’s easily cooled by fans and AC as well. Just be aware that if it’s exposed to the sun, it can absorb and keep heat from it so maybe throw a few rugs in areas where the tile or stone floor is hard-hit by the sun.

If you would like to put insulation under the floors but it’s too costly to take out the old floors and floorboards and put in insulation, you can just add insulating foam boards on top of the old floor boards, put plywood on top of that, and then lay out your choice of floor – preferably wood that’s low density for better insulating properties. No heat from you home will escape easily through the floor in the winter and no cool air will escape easily in the summer.

Having your wood flooring maintained and coated also provides a little bit of protection in terms of insulation. You can choose an oil based finish that will penetrate the wood but will still leave air pockets in the fibers of the timber for insulation. To get that done properly you can visit and choose the stain that best fits your timber flooring.

Though most people don’t view their floor as having a big difference in the amount of their power bills, having it insulated to keep heating bills down in the winter and keep AC bills down in the summer makes a huge difference. Changing or improving floors to help with efficiency by installing insulation or choosing a floor that is a natural insulator completes the environmentally friendly changes we need to make in our homes.

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