Fall, then winter, will be here before you know it. So, you’ll want to make sure you have the best insulation for your tiny home during the cold weather. Insulation is very essential to a comfortable tiny house. In this article, we will break down the steps to insulating a tiny house so that you can choose the best insulation for yours.
Insulating a Tiny Home
Insulating a tiny home can seem quite simple. Choose your insulation, place it between your studs and move on. However, detail is critical. One wrong move can result in a moldy, hot, cold and uncomfortable home. Not only does insulation keep you warm, but it also helps manage airflow through the systems of your walls. It also manages moisture in quite significant ways. Insulating your home isn’t complicated, it just takes an understanding of the basics.
Which Areas in Your Tiny House Should Be Insulated?
You want to insulate the walls, floors, and roof of your tiny home. This is a pretty similar process. Each is framed out in a 16-inch on-center framing, or 24-inch on-center framing if you’re planning to do advanced framing.
Materials Needed to Insulate a Tiny House
Insulation is a specific layer of material. It’s put in-between voids like the floor, walls, and ceilings/roof, which moderates the indoor temperature. It’s vital that your tiny home is properly insulated because it helps provide a comfortable living in both the winter and summer.
Quality insulation prevents warm air from escaping outside during the cold seasons. It also stops overly hot air outside from entering your tiny home during the hot seasons. A 3.5” foam board insulation between your external walls is recommended, as well as a 3.5” fiberglass batts insulation between internal walls.
Attic and roof insulation should be as thick as possible. The type of insulation to use would also vary depending on your location.
Steps to Insulating a Tiny Home
1. Air Seal Your Tiny Home
Air sealing your home is very beneficial. It improves its comfortability and the work of your insulation. A home that’s well-sealed, with average insulation, will end up performing way better than a leaky house that has excellent insulation. Seal your home the best way possible then do a blower door test. This will create a lower pressure inside and allow you to see where the air is being pulled.
2. Consider Thermal Bridges
Thermal bridging is where the material that transmits heat crosses in or out of your conditioned space. It can be quite a problem in the efficiency of tiny homes. The studs of our walls act as a thermal bridge, which is why many homes now are being built with an outer layer of insulation. Some are also being built with a product called Zip-R, which has a layer of insulation built-in.
3. Check Your Codes
Be sure to learn which code requires for your walls, ceiling or floor. Since this mostly depends on the climate in which you reside, each city or town’s code will be different. If you live in a moderate climate, you’ll generally need an R factor of 15 in your walls and 30 in your ceiling. If you live in a colder climate, it’ll need higher R values.
4. Choose Your Insulation For Your Tiny Home
When choosing insulation for your home, you should mainly consider two things:
- Whether you should DIY it or hire a professional.
- How much you’ll need to spend.
It usually all comes down to the amount of money you are able to spend on your insulation. It should be noted that, in the long run, insulation pays for itself. Trying to find ways to cut costs will result in cutting corners on insulation.
5. Understand Vapor Barriers
Vapor barriers can vary based on your location and choice of material. It’s essential to brush up on some vapor barrier information first. The thing is, we want to control where water vapor enters and exits a wall, floor or roof. Doing this relies on where the moisture comes from and which side warm moisture can come in contact with. Once it comes in contact with a cool surface, water will condense onto that surface. This can result in molding, which we clearly want to avoid.
6. Install Based On Manufacturer’s Directions
Knowing the details of insulating is crucial for it to perform the way it’s designed to. Lucky for us, there are plenty of insulation manufacturers out there that are willing to help answer questions to achieve customer satisfaction. They usually have plenty of free good resources on insulation installation as well. Use them as a guide and ask plenty of questions.
Choose Insulation Levels That Suit Your Climate
Insulation levels are specified by R-Value, which is a measure of insulation’s ability to resist the heat that travels through it. The higher the R-value is, the better the insulation’s thermal performance will be.
Hopefully, this guide was helpful and you’re able to choose the best insulation for your tiny home. For more information, visit our website.