Insulation is a term used for a wide variety of materials, from fiberglass to liquid foam to mineral wool. It's used in walls, floors, ceilings, and around ducts to provide resistance to the natural heat flow in your home. In the winter, heat flows out and you have to heat your home. In the summer, heat flows in and you have to cool your home. As you can imagine, the cost adds up very quickly. But with proper insulation and air sealing techniques, you could save up to 20% on your overall heating and cooling costs. It also makes your home much more comfortable.

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1. Start With Your Attic

Your attic is one of the easiest places to insulate, especially if you're adding to existing insulation. Typically, you'd use either blanket insulation or loose-fill insulation. Blanket comes in rolls or batts and is the most common type of insulation. Loose-fill consists of small particles of fiber, foam, or other materials. It tends to be less expensive, provides more coverage, and can be used in hard-to-reach areas.

2. Install a Reflective Radiant Barrier

While you're in your attic, consider installing a reflective radiant barrier. It blocks heat from entering or exiting through your roof — and saves money 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. For best results, hire a specialist. Visit our Preferred Providers Network to find a company near you.

3. Decide On Your Basement

There's a lot of controversy about where to insulate in your basement. Do you insulate your basement ceiling or its walls? If the walls, do you insulate on the exterior or the interior? Of course, there are advantages and disadvantages to each, but whichever solution you decide on, be sure to read about the nine general rules of moisture control before you start work.

4. Insulate Your Exterior Walls

For exterior walls, you should first determine where you need insulation, and then how much you need to reach the recommended R-value. You can do this yourself, or you can hire a professional to conduct a more detailed thermographic inspection. Once you've determined the location and coverage you need, you might want to consider using loose-fill or sprayed foam insulation, in that they both can be used without disturbing finished areas of your home.

5. Insulate Other Areas

There are many other places where you can insulate in your home, from attic access doors to crawl spaces to floors above unheated garages. What's more, there are different types of insulation. Insulation for windows and skylights, for example, can be accomplished through awnings,blinds, or other treatments or coverings. Find out more at Solar Insulation Tips.