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Published: Thursday, 12/4/2008

Saving Energy With Recycled Paper

(NewsUSA) - According to the Department of Energy, 80 percent of older homes do not possess adequate insulation. Poorly insulated homes require more energy -- and money -- to maintain comfortable temperatures. Luckily for homeowners, insulation projects are easy, inexpensive and can yield big returns.

"Energy efficiency is on everyone's mind these days, and one of the easiest ways to help your home perform as efficiently as possible and lower home heating and cooling costs is to make sure the insulation in your attic is providing an effective thermal barrier," said Bohdan Boyko, building science manager with GreenFiber, a maker of a natural fiber cellulose insulation product made from 85 percent recycled materials.

Cellulose insulation helps to keep hundreds of thousands of tons of paper out of landfills each year and removes millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere. Refuse efficiency experts state that paper products account for 34 percent of landfill space --enough office and writing paper each year to build a wall 12 feet high from Los Angeles to New York City.

"Cellulose insulation products are a natural choice for people who are as committed to the environment as they are to lowering energy costs and keeping their families warm in the winter and cool in the summer," said Boyko, adding that cellulose insulation is flame-retardant and sound-dampening. Because cellulose insulation is a blow-in product, the depth of coverage can easily be customized and applied over existing insulation products with as little or as much is necessary to meet a region's recommended R-value.

R-value is a standardized rating system that measures an insulation product's ability to stop heat transfer; in a home's attic or walls it also determines the thickness necessary to help keep a structure properly insulated in a particular climate.

To determine the recommended R-value for your region, consult the Homeowners Resources section on the GreenFiber Web site at www.greenfiber.com/homeowners. A corresponding chart shows how much insulation your home needs and helps estimate how much material you should buy to properly insulate your home.

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