How to Insulate Stud Walls

Insulated walls make a big difference not only in the comfort of your home but also in the energy efficiency of your heating and cooling system.

Stud Wall InsulationStud Wall Insulation
If you are already in the process of rebuilding a room and have taken the walls back to the studs, then insulating is quite simple. If you are building from the ground up, then again, installing insulation in the stud walls is easy. The only time it is a challenge is when the walls are already solid. That is a different scenario with different solutions. Here we will discuss insulating stud walls.

Measure the distance between the studs. This space has changed over the years so it depends on the age of your house. This measurement determines the width of the batting you will need to buy. Also measure the depth of the space between the walls. Different insulation has different thicknesses, depending on its R-value. You do not want to stuff a 6-inch thick batting into a 4-inch space as it will have to be compacted to fit, reducing its insulating properties.

Determine what R-value insulation your state building code requires. There is a chart on the Department of Energy's website that lists all the states and what the recommended insulation is for your area. Once you purchase the insulation, make sure you keep a copy of the label in your house paperwork files. According to the Federal Trade Commission, "the ... home insulation rule requires the seller of a new home to provide information on the type, thickness, and R-value of the insulation."

Dress appropriately. Wear a long-sleeved shirt with a button-up collar and cuffs, work gloves, a hat, a disposable dust mask and eye protection. Insulation fibers can irritate your skin and be toxic to your lungs.

To begin, measure the length of the space to be filled and cut the batting with a sharp utility knife on a wood surface according to that measurement. With the paper covering facing you, staple the insulation in place with a staple gun into the front edge of the stud.

Pack the insulation loosely into small areas but not around electrical outlets or switches that generate heat. These will need air circulation to prevent heat buildup. Electrical fire safety code usually requires a 3-inch space around these devices.

Things You Will Need

  • Tape measure Rolled fiberglass insulation Utility knife Staple gun and staples

About the Author

Maryland resident Heide Braley is a professional writer who contributes to a variety of websites. She has focused more than 10 years of research on botanical and garden articles and was awarded a membership to the Society of Professional Journalists. Braley has studied at Pennsylvania State University and Villanova University.