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An uninsulated or poorly insulated basement can account for 20 to 35 percent of a home's total heat loss. (1)
Basement insulation is particularly important because the earth does not provide good insulation. If your basement isn't insulated, you can likely make significant energy efficiency improvements with this upgrade.
Moisture barriers should be added to the crawlspace floor when adding insulation to the walls or floor above crawlspace.
The federal Office of Energy Efficiency recommends insulating crawlspace walls rather than the floor above the crawlspace. Read more about How to insulate and heat a crawl space.
1)Natural Resources Canada. 2009. How Important Is Basement Heat Loss? Accessed Aug. 4, 2010.http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/residential/personal/new-home-improvement/choosing/insulation-sealing/basement/khi-basement.cfm?attr=0