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You can reduce your home’s heating and cooling costs through proper insulation and air sealing techniques. These techniques will also make your home more comfortable.

Nearly half of your home’s energy dollar goes to heating and cooling, that is why improvements to your building envelope are often good investments. Insulation material does not use energy, but does have a major impact on home energy bills and comfort.

You need insulation in your home to provide resistance to heat flow. The more heat flow resistance your insulation provides, the lower your heating and cooling costs.

Heat flows naturally from a warmer to a cooler space. In the winter, this heat flow moves directly from all heated living spaces to adjacent unheated attics, garages, basements, and even to the outdoors. Heat flow can also move indirectly through interior ceilings, walls, and floors—wherever there is a difference in temperature. During the cooling season, heat flows from the outdoors to the interior of a house.

To maintain comfort, the heat lost in the winter must be replaced by your heating system and the heat gain in the summer must be removed by your cooling system. Properly insulating your home will decrease this heat flow by providing an effective resistance to the flow of heat.

After caulking and weather-stripping your leaks, adding insulation is the next cheapest way to make your home greener. However, in addition to being a bit more expensive, it’s also harder to install correctly. If your home is already insulated, adding more insulation may be more trouble than it’s worth, so get professional advice if you're unsure if you need it.

Insulation’s resistance to heat flow is measured or rated in terms of its thermal resistance or R-value.


An R-value indicates insulation’s resistance to heat flow. The R-value depends on the type of insulation and includes its material, thickness, and density.
Where to install insulation

In general, there should always be insulation between the areas of your home that are heated/cooled and the areas that aren’t, from the roof down to its foundation. This applies to every home.

Insulating Windows

Windows provide views, natural light, ventilation, and solar heating in the winter. Unfortunately, they can also account for 10% to 25% of your heating bill.