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Energy Saving Basement Finishing Ideas
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Energy Saving Basement Finishing Ideas   

One of the best basement finishing ideas was implemented when the Ontario building code was first established in 1975. It stated that all new homes had to have basement foundation wall insulation with an R12 rating just two feet down from the sill plate. This was designed to prevent condensation from forming on the top half of the foundation wall that was exposed above ground level. This code provision is a standard component of all Canadian and United States building codes today.

For older homes built before 1975 there was typically no basement insulation.

Energy Saving Basement Finishing Ideas
Energy Saving Basement Finishing Ideas

Recently, the Ontario building code, effective in 2008, was amended to mandate the installation of full floor to ceiling basement wall R-12 insulation. The reason for this was recognition that full basement wall insulation provided better protection against moisture forming on the foundation wall surface due to high interior relative humidity. Reducing moisture in the basement will help eliminate the potential health problems with mold and fungus growth. Also the added insulation help achieve significant energy cost savings. If your family is concerned about green living, the proper amount of insulation in your home can greatly decrease your energy consumption.

For an existing home if a homeowner is looking at a basement finishing idea, it makes sense and “cents” to do it right with full R12 insulation on the foundation walls and R 3 on the basement floors.

The only basement finishing system that integrates basement wall insulation with basement floor insulation is the Barricade™ modular panel system by OvrX. Barricade integrates an engineered wood core with closed cell polystyrene insulation that provides the warmth and comfort of real insulation but also acts as a code-approved vapor barrier for the walls and floors. Regardless of your basement finishing ideas, Barricade can help, plus it will save you money.

What kind of savings can a homeowner expect when they finish their basement with the Barricade system?

Using REM Design energy analysis software, the energy savings were calculated on a typical Toronto home using the Barricade system as the basement finishing idea. Potential savings of $90 per year or up to 10% of the total heating cost with partial foundation wall insulation are possible and $379 per year or up to 30% of the total heating cost is possible, if originally there was no basement wall insulation. *

Clearly homeowners need to incorporate this type of full wall and subfloor insulation into their basement finishing ideas. When the basement renovations are complete, the end result will be a warm, dry comfortable, safe and energy saving living space for the family.

For interested homeowners, it is important to know that the Barricade insulated wall and subfloor system is the only basement finishing idea that will meet the requirements of the 2008 Ontario building code.

* REM Design Software by Architectural Energy Corporation
Calculations for a 1718 square foot ranch will full conditioned 8-foot height basement
R-12 fiberglass draped 2 feet on basement wall with no basement floor insulation
Heating Degree Days 6561
Electrical costs of $0.11 m$/kWh
$0.95 $/therm for natural gas,
Basement Insulation Options

(A) R-12 Batt, 2 ft draped (insulated band joist) and no slab insulation
1) Foundations energy consumption: 24.5 MMBtu/Yr (Cost of $232/Yr)
2) Slab energy consumption: 6.8 MMBtu/yr (Cost of $65/Yr)

(B) R-12 STYROFOAM full height on interior basement walls and slab insulation for R 2.5 STYROFOAM
1) Foundation energy consumption: 15.5 MMBtu/Yr (Cost of $147/Yr)
2) Slab energy consumption: 6.3 MMBtu/Yr (Cost of $60/yr)

(C) No basement wall insulation and no slab insulation
1) Foundations energy consumption: 55.0 MMBtu/Yr (Cost of $521/Yr)
2) Slab energy consumption: 6.8 MMBtu/yr (Cost of $65/Yr)

Potential Savings

Partial basement wall insulation and no slab insulation: A-B ($297 - $207) = $90
No basement wall insulation and no slab insulation: C-B ($586 - $207) = $379

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