Unless your home was specially constructed for energy efficiency, you can   probably reduce your energy bills by adding more insulation. Many older homes   have less insulation than homes built today, but even adding insulation to a   newer home can pay for itself within a few years.

To determine whether you should add insulation, you first need to find out   how much insulation you already have in your home and where it is. Brewer and Associates can inspect your house and give you a whole-house energy assessment. An energy assessment, also known as a   home energy audit, will also help identify areas of your home that are in need   of air sealing. Before you insulate, you should make   sure that your home is properly air sealed.


Fiberglass (or fiber glass) — which consists of extremely fine glass fibers   — is one of the most ubiquitous insulation materials. It’s commonly used in two   different types of insulation: blanket (batts and   rolls) and loose-fill and is also available as rigid boards and duct   insulation.

ArcticInsulation8Manufacturers now produce medium- and high-density fiberglass batt insulation   products that have slightly higher R-values than the   standard batts. The denser products are intended for insulating areas with   limited cavity space, such as cathedral ceilings.

Cellulose Insulation

Cellulose insulation is made from recycled paper products, primarily   newsprint, and has a very high recycled material content, generally 82% to 85%.   The paper is first reduced to small pieces and then fiberized, creating a   product that packs tightly into building cavities, inhibits airflow, and   provides an R-value of 3.6 to 3.8 per inch.

Natural Fiber Insulation Materials

Some natural fibers — including cotton, sheep’s wool, straw, and hemp — are   used as insulation materials.

Polystyrene Insulation Materials

Polystyrene — a colorless, transparent thermoplastic — is commonly used to   make foam board or beadboard insulation, concrete block insulation, and a type   of loose-fill insulation consisting of small beads of polystyrene.


Examples of where to insulate. 1. In unfinished attic spaces, insulate   between and over the floor joists to seal off living spaces below. (1A) attic   access door 2. In finished attic rooms with or without dormer, insulate (2A)   between the studs of “knee” walls, (2B) between the studs and rafters of   exterior walls and roof, (2C) and ceilings with cold spaces above. (2D) Extend   insulation into joist space to reduce air flows. 3. All exterior walls,   including (3A) walls between living spaces and unheated garages, shed roofs, or   storage areas; (3B) foundation walls above ground level; (3C) foundation walls   in heated basements, full wall either interior or exterior. 4. Floors above cold   spaces, such as vented crawl spaces and unheated garages. Also insulate (4A) any   portion of the floor in a room that is cantilevered beyond the exterior wall   below; (4B) slab floors built directly on the ground; (4C) as an alternative to   floor insulation, foundation walls of unvented crawl spaces. (4D) Extend   insulation into joist space to reduce air flows. 5. Band joists. 6. Replacement   or storm windows and caulk and seal around all windows and doors. Source: Oak   Ridge National Laboratory