Insulation is critical to managing your utility bills and keeping you and your family comfortable.
More in Windows Walls and Doors
A carefully considered insulation strategy that considers air sealing and ventilation can improve your home's energy efficiency, which reduces your utility bills. There are many kinds of insulation, and choosing the right one for a new home or remodeling project requires a carefully considered strategy.
Three critical elements of that strategy are:
If you're having a new home built, be sure to talk to your builder about these three elements so that you can be assured the insulation strategy will contribute to a comfortable, efficient home.
How Much Insulation to Use and Where To Install It
Local building codes spell out the answers to these questions. At a minimum, insulation is placed in the floor of an unfinished attic, in the exterior walls and in the wall between the garage and the living space. It also may be installed over wall sheathing, which is a material placed between the exterior wall and the cladding material (the brick, siding or stucco on the outside of a house). In some regions, local building codes require the foundation walls and slab to be insulated, too.
What Type of Insulation to Use
The builder should choose the insulation type based on the design of your home and your climate zone. A good resource for more information about choosing insulation is the U.S. Department of Energy website.
The following is a guide on what type of insulation is typically installed and in which parts of the house. This varies based on the climate and the individual characteristics of the house.
Blown-in insulation refers to loose insulation made of fiberglass, cellulose or foam that is literally blown into place with hose-type equipment. Fiberglass and cellulose remain loose after they've been installed. Spray foam solidifies once it's been applied.
Remember, talk to your builder when your home is still in the planning stage to find out about the strategy being used to insulate your home, including the type of insulation material, where it's installed, and how much is needed.