Insulate Walls or Floors?

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Boris presented the following explanation :

I don't because the slab is insulated from the ground by a plastic sheet. That doesn't stop the cold though, and that is why I think concrete should be made with insulating properties.
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wrote:

Common practice up here in "the great white north" is 4 inches of styrofoam over the gravel and under the slab.. THAY is an insulated slab - and it is "warm"
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On Monday, December 28, 2015 at 5:40:01 PM UTC-5, Boris wrote:

Access to exterior walls, usually that isn't the problem. The problem is the insulation would need to go in the walls and that doesn't have good access. Considering it was built in 78, the wall cavity should already have insulation, no?
I can walk under the entire area.

Assuming the studs you're talking about are the exterior wall studs, how are you going to get easy access to put that insulation in? Usually putting insulation between the joists in a crawlspace is trivial compared to getting insulation into wall cavities. No insulation in those exterior walls already?
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Yes, the exterior of all living space is insulated. I'm talking about exterior walls of the crawlspace. It is defined as a crawlspace, but it's really tall. As a matter of fact, there's a standard size door that connects it to the garage, both of which are below the first floor. From the garage, I walk into the 'crawlspace'. It's a hoarder's paradise under there. (Me no hoarder.) Anyway, the foundation sill has the standard 2 x 4 on top of it, and on top of that are the 2 x 4 exterior wall studs, unfinished (no sheetrock). The exterior is stucco. In some places, these walls are 4' tall, and in others they are 8' tall. The house is built on a slope. From the sidewalk view, the left side is higher, and the land slopes down to the right. The right hand walls are the taller ones.

No, these are the unfinished (no sheetrock) exterior walls in the crawlspace

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Boris wrote:

Are there any water pipes in the crawl space ? If t'were me I'd insulate the walls with batts between studs then add a 1" layer of foam on top of that . I'd also lay down some poly sheet on the ground to help with moisture control . They make automatic crawl space vents that open when it gets hot , you might want to put some in while you're down there .
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In typed:

Based on what you wrote above, my vote would be to insulate the unfinished "crawlspace" walls first -- basically to help keep the "cold" from getting into the crawlspace from the outside. (I know, technically it is to keep the heat in the crawlspace from getting to the outside through the now-uninsulated crawlspace walls -- since heat energy flows from the warm side to the cold side, not cold flowing to the warm side).
After that, if you decide to insulate the crawlspace ceiling, you could do that too. But, I would do the walls first.
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On 12/28/2015 4:42 PM, trader_4 wrote:

Be clear about what you're trying to accomplish. You made no mention of heating cost. If your problem is that the floor is too cold and/or you'd like reduced heating cost, insulate under it. If you plan to inhabit the space, put something over it to contain the insulation dust. Look up the historical dewpoint. You wanna make sure that you don't condense moisture on the underside of the floor in summer. Vapor barrier may be required.
Now, you've just made the crawlspace colder. If there's anything in there that's sensitive to cold, like plumbing, you may need to address that with insulation or pipe tape or ???? Insulating the walls will help. I've lost track of the crawlspace floor, but you also may need insulation and vapor barrier there too. Depends on the ground temperature.
I'm in Oregon. If I close the air vents, the temperature under my house is 55F or thereabouts year round. My attic and crawlspace were insulated at the same time, so I don't have any individual measurements of the effect on heating costs. When I changed from carpet to fake wood floors, they felt colder, but I'm not sure it made any actual difference in the heat lost/gained. I fixed that problem with area rugs everywhere.
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On 12/28/2015 5:37 PM, Boris wrote:

You want to insulate both walls and floor. I'd use foam board with adhesive to hold it on the floor above.
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Heat's first propensity is to rise. Take care of that first. The United States of America remains in 2015 the most under and uninsulated country on earth - residentially.
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On Mon, 28 Dec 2015 17:09:09 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Wrong. Hot air rises. Heat energy travels to attempt equilibrium no matter the direction. If the floor is not insulated properly the heat will travel to it.
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On 12/28/2015 8:09 PM, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

How about Afghanistan, or Iraq? Where do they rate on blown up insullation?
IED = Installed Energy Dampening.
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On Mon, 28 Dec 2015 17:09:09 -0800 (PST) snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Source?
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On 12/29/2015 7:36 AM, burfordTjustice wrote:

Federation Uninsulated Ceilings Keeping Your Oil Usage.
Simply Underinsulated Ceilings Keeping Energy Reduced Saving.
That would probably make a catchy acronym.
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On Mon, 28 Dec 2015 22:37:21 -0000 (UTC), Boris
The more insulation the better.
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On Tuesday, December 29, 2015 at 8:09:18 AM UTC-5, CRNG wrote:

But there are diminishing returns and he's in SF, which has a moderate climate. Between unfinished basements and the living space typically isn't insulated. My basement is probably ~55F all year long, in SF I wouldn't be surprised if a crawlspace, with some limited vents, is not too much different.
Someone else pointed out that some more info on what the real objective is would be helpful. He said that after replacing carpet with wood flooring, it takes a lot longer to heat the house. I don't think that makes much sense. I can see carpet feeling warmer, but from a heat transfer perspective, I doubt carpet vs wood is going to make much difference. Also, he says he has a 20 year old furnace. If heating bills are an issue, replacing that might make more difference in how much energy it takes to heat the house than insulating the crawlspace.
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On 12/29/2015 8:33 AM, trader_4 wrote:

Some places now require the floor to be insulated'

Carpet and pad can be R2 to R6 depending on material and thickness. Could make a noticeable difference if the heating system is marginal.
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On 12/29/2015 9:10 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

I lived in a place one time which had a cement floor in the bedroom. (No kidding, hold my beer, woman.) One night as I was laying on the bed, watching TV, noticed my one foot was less cold than the other. Some investigation finds two layers of carpet under one foot, one lay under other foot. I moved the carpet scrap to be under both feet, and that was much more comfortable.
Since that time, I've moved. However, I've made sure to always have a carpet sample next to the bed where my feet land.
Some carpet stores sell samples of old design carpet. Those can make great foot pads.
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Stormin Mormon:
5 8 8 - 2 300 - Em-PIIIIRE!
today!
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On 12/29/2015 10:48 PM, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Perhaps there is some back story or in joke that I missed?
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Stormin:
You mentioned carpet samples and stores. Ever heard of Empire Carpet, seen their jingles on TV?
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