Can Flooring Increase the Efficiency in Your Home

Energy efficiency is a pretty important to homeowners these days, thanks to the high cost of electricity and gas, and a question often asked is whether or not the type of home flooring you choose to install can make a home more energy efficient? If so, what are the most energy-efficient flooring options, and just how much can they reduce energy usage? Here are some answers.

Most Flooring Has Little Insulation Value

You won’t get an increase in energy efficiency with vinyl flooring, stone or ceramic tile flooring. Tile will hold some heat, but in the summer, that’s not necessarily a good thing.

Carpet and Dense Polyurethane Foam Padding Increase Insulation

Most carpet has an R-value of 1.0-1.5 with an average of about 1.3. Thick polyurethane foam padding has an R-value of about 1.5. So, if you combine these materials, the resulting R-value boost of 2.5-3.0 can make a significant difference.

In addition, carpet definitely feels warmer to the touch in the winter than tile, natural stone flooring and even hardwood flooring. You’ll feel warmer walking on it, or sitting on it, and it will hold heat in the room better during the winter.

Wood Backed with Insulation Adds Insulation Efficiency

Some engineered wood products are backed by a foam base that acts as a vapor barrier and adds insulation value. The wood and backing will combine for an R-value of up to 1.5. When you’re trying to reduce your energy use while keeping your home more comfortable throughout the winter, every little bit helps.

Consider Area Rugs for Key Locations

If you’ve got ceramic tile flooring, natural stone flooring or vinyl flooring, think about adding area rugs to strategic places to make you feel warmer. Stand on one while doing dishes. Sit on one while watching TV. Rest your feet on one while relaxing in an easy chair. They won’t do a lot for the total insulation value of your home, but they can make you more comfortable all winter long.

Places to Learn about Home Energy Efficiency

  • Going Green at Home – Great set of guides to make your home greener on a budget.
  • Builder Online – Set of 10 ways you can make your home greener. From sealing the envelope to putting down thick carpeting, its all got some r-value!
  • Carpet & Rug Institute – A good article sharing the Cash for Caulkers program and how carpet can increase the efficiency value of your home.
  • TLC Channel – Shares several pages of tips on how to make your home greener. Everything is covered from sealing windows to using carpeting on floors.

Do you think Carpet can Increase Home Efficiency? Share your ideas and views below.

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