U.S. Green Technology | Where Main Street Meets Green Street

Energy-Smart Series: Tip 5 – Increase In-Wall Insulation

U.S. Green Technology | Where Main Street Meets Green Street
Blown-in insulation can help reduce heating and cooling costs. Image from daviddarling.info.

When most people think of insulation, they think of the attic. But your home should also have plenty of insulation in the walls–not only in exterior walls, but in internal walls separating rooms. Many homes weren’t constructed with enough insulation, especially those built during or prior to the 1980s, but new green technology makes it possible to add insulation to walls with very little trouble.

You’re probably aware that energy can seep through exterior walls, which is why insulation is essential. Energy can also move around inside your building through interior walls. Some rooms may be constantly too cold because heat is always seeping through to the next room. Adding insulation prevents this, enabling each room to retain the heat (or cool air) it was meant to. Insulation also muffles sounds, increasing privacy.

Using green technology to add insulation involves drilling small holes between studs, or through the exterior wall. Loose-fill insulation is blown in through these holes. The material is usually either cellulose or loose fiberglass, which settles into nooks, crannies and awkward spaces. Some contractors have both the skill levels and green technology necessary to work with a kind of slow-rising foam polyurethane. This insulation is more expensive, but also some of the most efficient, because as it fills small spaces it expands to create a more airtight seal that blocks heat transfer.

Before adding insulation, it’s a good idea to consult with a contractor who can tell you exactly where you need it. You should also consider letting them do the work themselves. They have both the green technology and expertise, and insulation can be a messy business if you don’t know what you’re doing.

  • Energy-Smart Series: Tip 1 – Landscape for Long-Term Savings (usgreentechnology.com)
  • Energy-Smart Series: Tip 2 – Regulate Your Humidity (usgreentechnology.com)
  • Energy-Smart Series: Tip 3 – Seal Home Air Leaks (usgreentechnology.com)
  • Energy-Smart Series: Tip 4 – Ventilate with a Whole-House Fan (usgreentechnology.com)
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