Home Efficiency: Insulation

After you’ve air sealed your home, a next step is installation of insulation in your attic, walls and accessible floors.  Putting actual insulation in your home is a bit pricier but will make a big difference in keeping your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. There are several common, traditional types of insulation—fiberglass (in both batt and blown forms), cellulose, rigid foam board, and spray foam.  Reflective insulation (or radiant barrier) can also help save energy in hot, sunny climates.

In choosing insulation, it’s important to know how much you need based on the R-value, or the insulation’s resistance to heat flow, and the climate where you live. Generally, you get the most bang for your buck by insulating attics in terms of energy cost saving and the amount of heat transfer from an uninsulated attic. In choosing an insulation look for those materials which have a high recycled material content and be aware that most batt fiberglass (the kind that comes in rolls) is made with formaldehyde, a known carcinogen.

Ask the folks at your building or home supply store about the most appropriate materials for you home.  If you consult or hire a contractor to put in insulation, they will help you determine the best insulation for your budget and needs.

Here are a few links on insulation installation:

http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/insulation_airsealing/index.cfm/mytopic=11510

http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/insulation_airsealing/index.cfm/mytopic=11350

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdkDY0xnjXg&feature=relmfu

Another big fix to make your home more energy efficient is installing new, ENERGY STAR qualified windows and roofs.

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