With cold weather ending, home insulation may not be at the top of your to-do list. Still, it’s important to consider. Good insulation not only keeps your house warm in the winter, it helps keep it air conditioned in the summer, too.

If you’re living in a house built more than five years ago, chances are it is under-insulated, according to a Harvard University study. The right insulation, correctly installed, will lower your energy bill and reduce the risk of electrocution or fire. Ask these questions when researching insulation options:

1. Does the insulation meet current building standards? Check with the building code department of your municipality for code regulations.
2. Are you getting maximum energy efficiency? One way to find out is to check the R value. Find local R value recommendations for each area of a house. The lower the value, the faster the heat loss. So, look for a high R value.  When building a new home, you may want to ask your builder to up the R value; increasing insulation during the construction process costs just a few hundred dollars – and those are well-spent dollars.
3. Is the insulation non-combustible? Fiberglass insulation is naturally non-combustible. It’s made from sand. Other forms of insulation may require fire-retardant chemical treatments.
4. Is the installer reputable? Check references and ask questions.

Look for special offers and rebates available through the U.S. Government’s Energy Star program.  They can help further defer the cost of improving your home’s insulation.

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