Q: My home was
built in 1944, and even the new addition, a porch converted to a
dining area about 20 years ago, has lath and plaster walls. Is there a
way to insulate these walls?
Also, would it
be practical to reinstall oil heat? We now have a heat pump ó we
bought into the "itís not your old heat pump, it will save
money over oil" sales spiel.
A: It appears
there are two very different questions here on the same topic ó
energy efficiency ó and Iíll try to answer each.
It is possible
to insulate lath and plaster walls. Many homeowners do this as part of
remodeling projects, since the walls have to be ripped into anyway. I
assume that is not part of your overall plan, however.
experts have told me over the years that thick plaster walls and the
wood lath underneath are thicker than most drywall. These walls were
designed to breathe, meaning that they provide more than enough
ventilation to prevent growth of mold.
subscribe to this; Iím just sharing.
Two of the
houses I have owned had plaster walls, and I tried to seal gaps where
the walls met the floors and the roof, to reduce air intrusion. In the
house that had an attic, I insulated the floor there. But my efforts
didnít seem to make either house more energy-efficient.
The method Iíve
seen most often is blowing cellulose insulation into a hole punched
into the plaster wall. This has to be done very carefully, so the
insulation is evenly distributed and doesnít settle in one place.
difficult seeing behind the walls when this is done, but qualified and
experienced insulation contractors are very good at it.
At the website