STANFORD UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF EARTH SCIENCES - EARTH SYSTEMS PROGRAM

Sustainable Choices

Insulate Attic & Basement

Simplicity:
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Carbon Impact:
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Money Savings:
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Health Helper:
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Overview
By making sure your home is well-insulated, you can improve your indoor climate-control, lower your energy bill, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A well-insulated home can be much easier to keep warm in the winter and cool in the summer, because less heat is transferred through the walls of the building. In the winter you can invite the heat in during the day and then seal it in to warm you for the night. In the summer you can open the windows at night and trap that cool air inside during the midday heat. Insulation is a no-nonsense method of being energy-wise.

Tips & Tricks
Look for recycled insulation materials. Some high-performance insulation is made from recycled materials: old newspapers or blue jeans. Consider a material that will insulate your home while creating a market for recycled products.

Be safe and healthy. Be sure to do your homework on safety: research the performance of insulation materials in fires, as well as potential toxicity of the materials.

Web & Print Resources
Insulation overview:
www1.eere.energy.gov

Selecting insulation for new construction:
www.eere.energy.gov

Compare insulation materials:
www.eere.energy.gov

General energy saving tips:
www1.eere.energy.gov
www.energyquest.ca.gov
www.stillwaterpower.com

Fun Facts

Insulation materials are measured by “R-values.” The higher the R-value, the better the material is at resisting heat transfer.

Insulation materials include: fiberglass batts, sprayed foam, recycled newsprint, and recycled blue jeans.