Go Deeper ...
Insulation Basics

The Envelope: 


First, It's about drafts, those annoying little air flows that make a home less comfortable AND make it cost more to heat and cool.   Your energy audit, whether professional or done by you, should include a list of those drafts.  Plugging them is your first line of energy defense. 


Seal the Leaks! 

Caulk, foam sealant and weather stripping are your first line of defense against air leaks.   If you've never used these tools, here are some simple "how to" videos that'll show you, well, how to ...



Plug the Drafts!


Inexpensive draft stops are available online or at your local hardware store.  Here are a few simple but effective air blocks you might want to consider:

  • Dryer vent seal - it'll open when the dryer's in use, but stay closed when it's not.
  • Light switch and wall outlet covers - they fit under the plates.
  • Fireplace plug - stop the chimney's natural draft
  • Attic fan insulation shutter - add in fall, remove in spring
  • Weatherized dog door

How much insulation is enough?


The U.S. government's Energy Star program, which puts a premium on home modification that combines product efficiency and conservation practices, has produced a map and a simple chart to answer that question.  The Department of Energy has weighed in with specifics based on your ZIP CODE.  Choose your preference ...

How Much Can You Save with Insulation?

Reference Corner

R-value measures a material's resistance to heat loss.  The higher the R-value of your insulation, the more effective it will be.

Check the map for your location, then find the recommended R-values for each part of your house.  (Click map to enlarge.)