by Rhonda Fleming
(Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA)
Should I Insulate My Home?
The answer is probably “yes” if you:
• Have an older home and haven’t added insulation.
Only 20% of homes built before 1980 are well insulated.
• Are uncomfortably cold in the winter or hot in the summer—
adding insulation creates a more uniform temperature and increases comfort.
• Build a new home, addition, or install new siding or roofing.
• Pay high energy bills.
• Are bothered by noise from outside—insulation muffles sound.
Long-Term Savings Tip
One of the most cost-effective ways to make your home more
comfortable year-round is to add insulation to your attic.
Adding insulation to the attic is relatively easy and very cost effective.
To find out if you have enough attic insulation, measure the thickness of the insulation.
If it is less than R-22 (7 inches of fiber glass or rock wool or 6 inches of cellulose), you could probably benefit by adding more.
Most U.S. homes should have between R-22 and R-49 insulation in the attic.
If your attic has enough insulation and your home still feels drafty and cold in the winter or too warm in the summer, chances are you need to add insulation to the exterior walls as well.
This is a more expensive measure that usually requires a contractor, but it may be worth the cost if you live in a very hot or cold climate.
You may also need to add insulation to your crawl space.
Either the walls of the crawl space or the floor above the crawl spaceshould be insulated.