Proper insulation and ventilation is the first and most important energy saving measure. It can reduce heating needs to one-third (about 50 kWh heat/m2/y) or even one tenth (less than 15 kWh heat/m2/y) of what an average house would need.
You can reduce your home's heating and cooling costs by as much as 30 percent through proper insulation and air sealing techniques.
Remarkably, a properly insulated house, which only needs a third of the heat to keep you warm, will not be more expensive to build. The extra investments in insulation, ventilation and high-efficiency glazing, can be offset by a smaller and cheaper heating system.
An efficient house will also be healthier and more comfortable to live in - it avoids 'cold radiation' (as from windows), the differences of temperature between heated and non-heated rooms is less, and it can be more efficiently ventilated.
Checking your home's insulation is one of the fastest and most cost-efficient ways to use a wholehouse approach to reduce energy waste and make the most of your energy dollars.
- Remember that new windows must be installed correctly to avoid air leaks around the frame. Look for a reputable, qualified installer.
- Install white window shades, drapes, or blinds to reflect heat away from the house.
- Use higher density insulation, such as rigid foam boards, in cathedral ceilings and on exterior walls.
- One of the most cost-effective ways to make your home more comfortable year-round is to add insulation to your attic.
- EERE Home Insulation Tips
- DoE Insulation and Air Sealing Tips