The Best Way to Insulate a House

If you are like most homeowners, your heating and cooling consumes 50 to 70 percent of the utilities you pay for each month.

roll of fiberglass insulationroll of fiberglass insulation
Insulating your home properly can save you money on energy costs and keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Insulation is rated by R-values, also known as thermal resistance. The higher the number for the R-value, the more effective the insulation is. The best kind of insulation for your home depends on how much you need, access to the location to insulate, the space available for insulation and the availability and price of insulation in your area.

Call your utility company and ask for an energy audit. The minimum R-value for insulating your home depends upon the area where you live, how your house is built and the heating source you use.

Research over the Internet and find out what climate your home is in by going to the Department of Energy's Web site at: www.energy.gov. If live in a mild climate you need R-11 insulation in the walls and floors and R-19 in ceilings. If you are in a moderate climate, you should have R-19 in the walls and floors and R-30 in ceilings. If you live in a cold climate you should have R-19 in walls and under your floors and R-38--R-49 in ceilings.

Consider various forms of insulation for different spaces in your house. For overhead spaces consider fiberglass blankets, batts, spray foam insulation, insulated board products or reflective insulation systems. You can fill enclosed cavities behind finished walls with blown-in insulation with a hopper or a spray foam insulation.

Combine insulation types of insulation. You can roll insulation over of loose-fill insulation in an attic; or do just the opposite. If your attic temperature falls below 0°F, cover a low-density, loose-fill insulation with a blanket insulation.

Install batts of fiberglass insulation that have vapor-retardent facings if you live in an area that is damp and humid. Or use insulation batts with flame-resistant facings for unfinished areaa like basements, where the insulation will be exposed.

Things You Will Need

  • Computer with Internet access
  • Telephone

About the Author

JIm Cooper is an attorney and business consultant. He serves on the board of many corporations. He is also a published writer with more than 30 years of experience. Cooper's articles have been published in "American Executive," "Men's Health" magazine, "Newsweek," "Marie Claire" and "Mademoiselle" magazines.