What Additional Insulation Do You Need for an ICF Home?
Easy-to-install insulated concrete form (ICF) wall systems help create energy-efficient, durable, disaster-resistant, and healthy homes for today’s energy-conscious homeowners. Do you need additional wall insulation for ICF homes? No.
Insulated concrete form (ICF) wall systems combine thermal mass, airtight construction, and two continuous layers of highly insulative expanded polystyrene foam to create high-performing, energy-efficient walls (R-values of 23+).
In addition, ICFs control moisture and air intrusion, a vital component to maintaining the insulation’s effectiveness and ensuring an energy-efficient, comfortable, durable, and healthy home.
You do not need additional insulation in an ICF wall. However, to optimize your whole home’s energy efficiency, you must adequately insulate from the roof down to the foundation.
The Insulative Value of ICF Above- and Below Grade Wall Systems
ICF wall systems contribute significantly towards creating energy-efficient homes and meeting current building code demands for tighter building envelopes and continuous insulation. ICFs also act as a vapor retarder, preventing moisture accumulation within the wall system. Moisture can lead to structurally damaging and unhealthy mold.
High-Performing, Energy-Efficient Fox Blocks ICF Wall Systems
You will meet all your exterior above- and below-grade insulation and moisture control requirements with Fox Blocks ICFs. Quick and easy-to-install Fox Blocks ICFs are an all-in-one wall assembly, combining five steps into one, continuous insulation, vapor retarder, structure, air barrier, and attachment.
With an R-value of 23, Fox Blocks exceed ASHRAE/ANSI 90.1 energy code requirements. They produce more energy-efficient and less drafty homes than wood-framed houses — significantly saving energy and improving a family’s comfort. ICF’s high-thermal mass creates a tight thermal building envelope, which allows the home to use smaller-capacity and less expensive equipment for heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning.
Fox Blocks produces a solid continuous monolithic concrete wall with an air infiltration rating of less than 1.0 perm, which controls moisture intrusion and ensures that moisture in the wall cavity dries out and won’t move on to adjacent areas.
An insulated roof will lower your energy bills and increase the lifespan of the roof. An uninsulated roof can account for 26 percent of a home’s heat loss. Common types of roofing insulation include polyurethane spray foam, batt insulation, rigid insulation boards, fiberglass loose-fill, and structural insulated panels.
Attic insulation will help keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer, saving money on your energy bills year-round. In addition, a well-insulated attic controls air leakage into your house, keeps room temperatures stable, and improves the air quality in your home. Attic insulation also increases your home’s value, prolongs the life of your roof, limits moisture damage, and reduces noise.
Builders commonly use loose-fill or batt insulation in an attic, at levels ranging from R-30 to R-60, depending on your climate zone. For unfinished attic spaces, seal off the living spaces below by insulating between and over the floor joists. For finished attic rooms, insulate between the studs of the knee walls, between the rafters and studs of exterior roof and walls, and cold spaces above the ceiling.
Window and Door Insulation
A significant source of heat loss in many homes occurs around the doors and windows. If you can’t afford to upgrade to energy-efficient windows and added insulation, try applying a window insulator kit or caulking and weatherstripping around the edges of the doors or windows to help seal up the leaks.
An insulated floor will help to keep the rooms of your home warm and draft-free. It will also reduce heating and cooling bills. Uninsulated floors can account for as much as 10 percent of a home’s heat loss.
For hardwood, laminate, and ceramic floors underlayment (rigid foam, fiberglass, rubber) can add a layer of insulation between the floor and subfloor. Radiant floor heating can further keep a home warm. It involves installing water-heated tubing or electric heating coils under your home's floors.
An energy-efficient home must include a properly insulated duct system. A home’s air ducts carry the air from the furnace and central air conditioner to each room. Heated air that leaks into unheated spaces of your home can cost you hundreds of dollars on cooling and heating bills. Well sealed and insulated ducts will distribute air properly throughout your home without leaking to keep all rooms at a comfortable temperature. The system should balance supply and return flow to maintain a neutral pressure within the house.
Fully Insulated Your Above- and Below-Grade Walls with Fox Blocks ICFs
Fox Blocks is a mass wall assembly with the double insulation layers limiting the thermal transfer through the wall assembly. This creates a thermal lag which means the interior temperature is not subjected to large swings in temperature causing the HVAC system to operate more often. This relates to a lifelong operational cost savings for utilities.
Fox Blocks ICF is a quick and straightforward way to build a fully insulated and moisture-resistant above- and below-grade wall system. Our product will also ensure a durable, disaster-resistant, and healthy home for your family. A high-performing, energy-efficient home needs to adequately insulate everything from the roof to the foundation.
Get in touch with our team of Fox Blocks professionals today for more on the benefits of ICF homes, and why ICF walls do not need additional insulation.