Insulating Your Home Properly Can Provide Major Home Energy Cost Savings

There are Numerous Insulation Solutions for Insulating your Home Adequately

By Mark J. Donovan

Insulating your home properly and sufficiently is a great way to achieve major home energy cost savings as well as to create a greener home. Insulation prevents the flow of heat transfer from a warm space to a cold space. Insulation is rated by its resistance to heat flow transfer and is referred to as the R-value. Insulating your home properly requires the use of different types of insulation in the various parts of the home. For example thicker insulation is used in attics compared to walls and in-between floor spaces.

Insulating your home properly is also a function of your location. Colder climates require significantly higher insulation R-values compared to warmer climates.

There are numerous types of insulation to choose from for insulating your home properly. Fiberglass rolled or batt insulation is used most commonly in residential construction. However, there are other options to choose from, some of them offering higher R-values per inch than rolled or batt fiberglass insulation. For example, blown-in insulation which is made from either cellulose or fiberglass material is literally blown into the walls and attic and is better at filling even the smallest of nooks and crannies.

Sprayed foam is another type of insulation product for insulating your home that is ideal for filling wall spaces and getting into small nooks and crannies. This type of insulation is literally sprayed onto the walls where it then immediately expands to a pre-determined thickness.

Rigid foam insulation is another type of insulation that is ideal for insulating your home, particularly around basement foundations and crawl spaces. It comes in various sized sheets and is made out of polyurethane or polystyrene.

Attic insulation

More eco-friendly types of insulation, if you prefer to be green conscious, include using cellulose and cotton fiber insulation products. Cellulose material is nothing more than recycled shredded newspaper. Likewise, cotton fiber based insulation comes from recycled cotton fiber. Either of these two products is ideal for insulating you home as they provide high R-values as well as are eco-friendly.

When insulating your home, again it is important to remind you that the amount of insulation required in walls, attics and floor spaces varies with the location and region of the home. In addition, insulating your home is also a function of wall frame thickness. For example, 2×4 walls can only support fiberglass rolled insulation with an R-value of R-11 as this insulation is 3.5” thick. Exterior walls constructed using 2x6s, on the other hand, can support R-19 insulation.

Besides insulating your home’s walls, attics and floor areas with the various types of batt, rolled, sprayed or rigid foam insulation, it is also important to properly insulate around doors and windows. Doors and windows are major heat loss culprits so make sure weather stripping is applied around them and that the weather stripping is functioning properly, e.g. not mashed down.

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In addition, the exterior frames of all doors and windows should be caulked to prevent air leakage around door and window frames.

In addition to insulating your home, it is also important to include a vapor barrier over the insulation prior to installing drywall or other types of finished wall surfaces. The vapor barrier protects the insulation and home from mold and mildew growth.

For help on building a home addition, see’s Home Addition Bid Sheets. Our Home Addition Bid Sheets provide you with the knowledge and information on how to plan a home addition project, and what to look for when hiring contractors. They also include detailed cost breakdown tables and spreadsheets for estimating your own new home addition building costs.

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