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The kitchen in my Philadelphia row home seems to have been a last minute idea. After last winter, I'm almost certain there is no insulation installed in the room. Is there a way for me to do something about this?

I can't break down the walls or do anything like replace them. I'm only renting, and my landlord isn't ever around or helpful so it's DIY without a lot of leeway.

But I would also love to not have to have a coat to get a glass of water, if anyone has any ideas? Cold air even comes through little holes in the wall-where it looks like they put in a mug drying rack, changed their mind, and that was that.

  • You likely have a some kind of balloon framing in the kitchen, where the stud cavity in the kitchen goes unobstructed to the unheated attic crawl space. Do you have a drop ceiling or any way to reach the studs at the ceiling of the kitchen, or at the ceiling of the second floor bath (if you have one)? – Edwin Oct 14 '14 at 5:18
  • You should be able to find a local company, that can inject insulation into the walls though small holes cut through the drywall. Once you patch the holes, you'll never be able to tell they were there (except that you'll be warmer). They'll have to cut one hole per stud bay, so it may be a lot of patching though. – Tester101 Oct 14 '14 at 12:53
  • Note Amanda - that the foam injections are far from perfect and the results can vary from pretty good to useless. – DMoore Oct 14 '14 at 14:52
  • Those holes in the wall should be your first priority. Patching them should not only make the place look nicer, but prevent air from escaping. Check for any other drafts you can find while you're at it. – user3757614 Oct 22 '15 at 0:11
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Foam insulation can be injected into the stud cavities. A contractor will drill one hole in each stud cavity to inject the foam through. Then you can patch the holes and paint over them.

You should also check any windows in the room. Look specifically at the caulking around the frame. If it's old and dry/cracked, remove the old caulk, use window/door expanding foam to fill large gaps, and apply fresh caulk.

You can also purchase window insulation kits that use double sided tape and secure a plastic sheet all the way around the window frame. Then a hair dryer/heat gun is used to shrink the plastic sheet in place. The trapped air provides a bit of insulation, and the plastic stops drafts.

If there are any exterior doors in the room, check the weatherstripping for wear and cracks. Consider replacing/upgrading the weatherstripping to stop drafts.

  • Blown-in fiber insulation is also a possibility. – keshlam Oct 22 '15 at 0:03

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