What You Need to Know About Home Insulation

Update your home insulation before winter hits Maine. By installing an energy efficient insulation in your home you could cut your heating cost by 40% or more. Adding insulation to your attic, basement or crawl space is one of the best ways to improve energy efficiency in your home. Insulation reduces the flow of heat from the interior to the exterior in the winter, and in the summer months, from the exterior to the interior. For optimal energy efficiency, your home should be insulated from the roof down to the foundation. When insulation is properly installed, heating systems run less frequently, helping to reduce on-going energy expenses while meeting home heating needs.

One of the most important aspects of insulation is R-value. R-value is a measure of resistance to heat flow through a given thickness of material, such as insulation. Heat moves in and out of your home by conduction (which R-Value measures), by convection, radiation and air infiltration. Insulation’s effectiveness depends on material used, how much of it is installed, where it is installed, and if the home has been effectively air sealed.

Your home was built outdoors, and that means there are other factors like wind, humidity, and temperature changes in play. These factors create pressure differences between the interior and the exterior of the building due to things like hot air rising, wind, and mechanical systems forcing air through every opening and making its way to the interior or exterior, or to unconditioned areas of the building like attics, basements and crawl spaces.

Benefits of Better Home Insulation:

  • Reduced energy demand
  • Increased comfort and noise reduction
  • Cost savings for decade
  • prevent spread of flames in the event of a fire

Home Energy Assessment

During a home energy assessment, an energy auditor or insulation contractor will be able to recommend appropriate insulation levels and tell you which insulation materials might work best in certain locations.  For example, cellulose insulation is a popular and relatively inexpensive choice for attic insulation. Many homeowners choose rigid foam or spray foam insulation for rim joists and basement walls. Insulating basement walls to at least two feet below grade is highly cost effective. Consulting with an energy advisor is the best way to determine what insulation materials will work best in your home as well as discuss indoor moisture or other health and safety concerns.

Efficiency Maine offers incentives and energy loans for homeowners improving the efficiency of their home with qualified insulation.