If you plan to sell your home in Berks County, you want to make sure that it's energy efficient. Modern buyers are more concerned about saving energy and reducing monthly energy bills.

One place that can get overlooked when insulating your home for sale is the basement. People think that since hot air rises, that you want to just insulate the upper levels. And yes, you should.

Yet the basement can lose as much as 30% of your energy. If you stop that loss, you can save hundreds of dollars per year on heating and cooling costs.

Where to add basement insulation

There are two places to add basement insulation. You can treat the basement as an indoor space and add the insulation to the walls. Or you can treat it as an outdoor space and add it to the ceiling. If you chose the latter, you also need to close off all vents in the basement, particularly vents on your furnace unit and on exposed HVAC ducts.

Adding insulation to basement ceilings

Insulating your basement ceiling is a straightforward job. Use fiberglass batt insulation designed to fit between framing members. Figure a cost of $.50 to $2 per square foot to have a professional install 6 to 12 inches of fiberglass insulation.

Adding insulation to basement walls

Though floor insulation is more common, wall insulation has advantages over ceiling insulation:

  • Efficiency—ceiling insulation often is compressed by many wires, pipes, and ducts that inhabit the floor joists, reducing effectiveness.
  • Gained living space—insulating basement walls usually makes basements more habitable and usable on a daily basis.

Adding insulation to your basement walls requires one of two basic methods:

Build and insulate a stud wall

If you plan on using your basement to live in, building and insulating a stud wall is a great idea, as you can then run electrical and plumbing. You can then cover the wall with drywall and create a nice wall.

To insulate a stud wall, fill the stud cavities with regular fiberglass batt insulation. To prevent damage to the wall from trapped moisture, most building codes require installing a vapor barrier on the warmest (inside) side of the wall.

Install rigid foam sheathing directly against the basement wall

To prevent air infiltration and moisture problems, the seams between the rigid foam sheathing should be sealed with moisture-proof tape.

Codes often dictate that exposed foam sheathing be covered with an acceptable fire barrier, typically a layer of half-inch-thick drywall. Apply furring strips to the sheathing, then install a layer of drywall. Or, build a stud wall against the foam sheathing, fill the stud wall with unfaced fiberglass insulation, and cover with drywall. Both methods yield finished walls for your basement.

Need help finding the perfect home for sale in Berks County? Our powerful home search tool will help you find the home of your dreams. Make to visit to our blog every week for more real estate advice, along with local Berks County articles.