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    The main purpose of insulation is to provide resistance to heat flow. In the winter, it keeps warm air inside your home. In the summer, it keeps hot air outside your home. This saves you money, because the more heat flow resistance that insulation provides, the higher its R-value, and the less you have to use your heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system to heat and cool your home.

    If you're adding insulation to a new home, make sure that you have the right type, the right amount, and that you're putting it in the right places. If you're adding insulation to an existing home, it gets a little more complicated. The difficulty is finding out how much insulation you have, what the R-value is, and whether it's shifted or dropped within the walls. That's why we recommend that you contact a professional for a free in-home evaluation. The right investment today will pay off with lower energy bills every month.

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Find Out Where You Should Insulate

The easiest answer to where you should insulate is everywhere - or at least everywhere heat can travel into or out of your home. However, different areas require different types of insulation. For example, you can insulate your attic with batt or loose-fill insulation. You can insulate your air ducts with mastic and metal tape. And you can insulate your foundations with concrete forms or concrete blocks. For more savings, you can even insulate your water heater tank and all its connecting pipes.

Evaluate Your Current Insulation

If you just want to find the most obvious heat leaks around your home, a thermal leak detector should do the trick. It's designed to identify insulation "soft spots" around electrical outlets, recessed lights, and along your floor molding. But if you're interested in a comprehensive whole house inspection, you should hire a specialist to conduct a high-tech thermographic scan. Both methods can find problem areas, but the scan - although more expensive - will be able to give you significantly more detail.

Determine Your R-Values

One of the most important things you need to know about insulation is the R-value. Essentially, it's the measure of how well a certain type of insulation can provide resistance against heat flow. In other words, R-values are used to compare the quality of insulation so that you can determine the quantity you need. Once you understand it's meaning, it will help you make informed decisions about which insulation to choose, how much to use, and where to put it.

Choose the Right Type of Insulation

As discussed above, there are many different types of insulation, ranging from natural fiber batts to foam board to concrete blocks. Fortunately, the Department of Energy has posted a convenient chart to help you determine which type of insulation would be best suited for your project. It categorizes the different forms, materials, uses, installation methods, and advantages of each different insulation type.

Install a Reflective Radient Barrier

Here's a perfect example of using the right insulation for the right problem. In the summer, heat radiates in through your roof. In the winter, it radiates out. A reflective radiant barrier blocks that heat passage and saves on both your heating and cooling bills. Though there are various types of radiant barriers, one of the most effective is a high-tech coating that's simply sprayed onto the underside of the roof deck in your attic. For best results, hire a specialist. Visit our Preferred Providers Network to find a company near you.