Attics, Crawl Space, Basement, Walls: DIY Home Insulation Guide

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Four out of every five homes built before 1980 have a less-than-recommended amount of insulation. Back when oil cost only a few dollars per barrel neither builders nor homeowners gave much thought to installing the stuff.

But insulating your home today can easily reduce both your heating and cooling bills by 20 percent to 40 percent. and with heating and cooling often accounting for nearly halt the utility bill, insulating your home makes good economic sense. Adding attic insulation is by far the easiest and most cost-effective step you can take. Insulating walls with blown-in insulation will also save money in the long run, but it’s nearly always a messier, more expensive proposition.

It is critical to remember that sealing up air leaks and insulating go hand in hand. For starters, it’s much easier to seal attic air leaks before insulating. Secondly, your insulation will be much more effective when it doesn’t have to fight air infiltration; after all, insulation is simply thousands of little pockets that trap air.

In this section on insulation, we'll cover...

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