U.S. Department of Energy: Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

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Insulation and Sealing Air Leaks

Checking your home's insulation is one of the fastest and most cost-effective ways to use a whole-house approach to reduce energy waste and make the most of your energy dollars. A good insulating system includes a combination of products and construction techniques that protect a home from outside hot or cold temperatures, protect it against air leaks, and control moisture. You can increase the comfort of your home while reducing your heating and cooling needs by investing in proper insulation and sealing air leaks.

Should I Insulate My Home?

Insulate your home when:

  • You have an older home and haven't added insulation. Only 20% of homes built before 1980 are well insulated.
  • You are uncomfortably cold in the winter or hot in the summer—adding insulation creates a more uniform temperature and increases comfort.
  • You build a new home, addition, or install new siding or roofing.
  • You pay high energy bills.
  • You are bothered by noise from outside—insulation muffles sound.
Cutaway illustration of house showing insulation in walls, foundation, crawlspace, floors, and attic.

Where to Insulate
Adding insulation in the areas shown above may be the best way to improve your home's energy efficiency. Insulate either the attic floor or under the roof. Check with a contractor about crawl space or basement insulation.

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Content Last Updated: 1/21/2009