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Oct 21, 2007
Focus: Environment
Action Request: Various
Location: United States

How Well-Insulated are You?

The next area that the EERE suggests examining in a whole house energy audit is your insulation. As with air leaks, the proper levels of insulation can help insure that you're not spending more than necessary on heating and cooling. Keep in mind that your home likely has the insulation levels recommended at the time it was built, so adding to these levels can keep your energy usage (and your heating and cooling bills) down.

The Oak Ridge National Laboratory suggests focusing on the following actions:

  • Insulate your attic to the recommended level, including the attic door, or hatch cover.
  • Provide the recommended level of insulation under floors above unheated spaces, around walls in a heated basement or unventilated crawl space, and on the edges of slabs-on-grade.
  • Use the recommended levels of insulation for exterior walls for new house construction. When remodeling or re-siding your house, consider using the levels recommended for new construction in your existing walls.

EERE lists specific steps you can take to check your insulation levels in these areas of your home. Be particularly careful when checking walls - you'll likely want to check through electric outlets, but it's critical to make sure that the electricity to those outlets is turned off before checking.

Your Action for Today:
Check Your Insulation Levels

Using the steps and safety precautions provided by EERE, check the levels of insulation in your home. If they're below recommended levels, consider adding insulation - it will make a big difference in your energy usage, especially in the hottest parts of the summer, and the coldest parts of the winter.

For most people, insulation means fiberglass. Greener alternatives* are available, though, including:

  • Soybean-based polyurethane foam
  • Blown-in cellulose

Are your insulation levels adequate? If not, how will you increase them? Let us know in your Green Journal.

Tomorrow: Let's go car shopping...

Sincerely,

Green Options

The GO Team
GreenOptions.com

*This article is from The Green Guide, which Green Options sells through the magazine's affiliate program.

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Posted: Oct 21, 2007 9:54pm

 

 
 
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