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Published: Thursday, 2/8/2007

Hot Tips About Insulation

Insulation helps keep heat in during the winter and out during the summer. It also saves you money while making your home more comfortable.

Insulation is rated in R-value. This stands for Resistance-value and measures how well the material resists the flow of heat. The higher the R-value, the more effective the insulation. When you buy and use insulation, consider the R-value, not the thickness, weight or composition of the material. No matter what the materials are, if they have the same R-values, they will insulate equally well.

While different regions of the country have different recommended insulation requirements, general standards call for insulating ceilings to R 35-40 and exterior walls to R 15-18, floors over crawl spaces to R 18-21 and basement walls to R 8-10.

Common building materials like wood, brick and concrete don t insulate well. Supplementing them with insulating materials like fiberglass, mineral glass or cellulose is recommended.

When adding insulation, here are some common (and not-so-common) areas to remember:

Between ceiling joists in unfinished attics

In finished attics, between the studs of shorter walls and between studs and rafters of exterior walls and ceilings

Walls between living areas and unheated storage areas or garages

Foundations above ground level

Floors above unheated areas such as garages or crawl spaces

Slab floors located directly over the ground

Crawl space walls

Before the temperatures drop and the snow flies, check your home for any insulation gaps. And prepare to dig in for the winter.

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