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The practice of protecting a building and its interior from the elements, particularly from precipitation and wind to reduce energy consumption and optimize energy efficiency.

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Insulation Frequently Asked Questions

You've Got Insulation Questions….We've Got Answers!

Insulating your Salem and Corvallis home is one of the most important things you can do to save money and increase your home comfort.  Here are some of our most frequently asked questions about home insulation.

Q: Are the Salem and Corvallis areas a good climate for home insulation?
Most definitely.  Insulating your home will benefit you all year long.  Home insulation not only saves energy in winter months but will also provide additional comfort in the summer.

Q: Will I save money by insulating my home?
A: Yes. Insulating your walls, ceilings and floors will save you money by reducing your energy cost. Insulation not only saves money, but will increase your home comfort, and protect the environment by reducing your energy use.

Q: How much money can I expect to save?
 The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) states that the typical U.S. family spends about $1,500  per year on their energy bills.  DOE statistics show that, typically, 44% of a homeowner's utility bill goes toward heating and cooling costs. DOE states that homeowners may be able to reduce their energy bills from 10% to 50% by taking certain steps. One of the major steps is increasing the amount of thermal insulation in their existing homes or purchasing additional insulation when buying new homes.

Q: Will certain homes benefit from insulation more than others?
Unless your home was built in recent years and with special attention to energy efficiency, adding insulation will likely reduce your utility bills.  Several factors contribute to how much you can save, for instance:  your local climate; the size, shape, and construction of your house; the living habits of your family; the type and efficiency of the heating and cooling systems; and the fuel you use. Energy conserved is money saved, and the annual savings increase when utility rates go up.

Q: What does R-value mean?
A: R-value measures insulation's resistance to heat flow. It can also be referred to as "thermal resistance." The higher the R-value, the greater the insulating power. All materials having the same R-value, regardless of type, thickness, or weight, are equal in insulating power (though not necessarily equal in quality and durability). The R-value of different insulating materials must be based on test methods established by the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM). Don't forget that R-values are determined by material type, thickness, and installed weight per square foot, not by thickness alone. Insulation helps keep your home cool during the summer months and warm during the winter months.

Q: Will insulating my home add value to my home?
Every home buyer knows that there is a cost to buying a home and a cost to running a home.  Insulation upgrades add value to your home because they demonstrate efficiency and cost savings. Every new home seller must provide specific information about insulation in the sales contract.  See Federal Rule 460.16 for details.  Additionally, our local and state governments may have rules and regulations governing consumer contracts.

Q: What areas of my home should be insulated?
We recommend a home energy audit to assess your current situation.  Common areas for us to insulate are: attics, walls, floors, crawl spaces, and duct insulation.

Q: How much insulation should my house have?
A: "Insulation," says Bob Vila, host of the nationally syndicated TV program that bears his name, "is the most efficient energy-saving expenditure." Vila says homeowners should check attics to determine the amount of insulation already installed. "Most homes built before 1980 have inadequate insulation," he said, noting that if insulation between the joists of the attic floor comes only to the top of the joist, it probably makes sense to install more insulation.

The U.S. Department of Energy recommends home insulation R-values based on where you live. See R-value recommendations or use the R-value calculator.

In the Salem and Corvallis area, as well as all of Western Oregon, the average recommended insulation levels are 10” for floor, 14” for attic and 3 1/2 “ for ducts.

Q: Are there different types of insulations?
Yes, when it comes to home insulation, there are options:

  • Blow in fiberglass – for attics and walls
  • Vinyl faced batt – works great for ducts and water lines
  • Batt insulation – the preferred choice for floors and walls
  • Foam board – is a good solution where there are large gaps and hatches

If you don’t find your insulation question here, please let us know and we’ll be happy to answer.  If you’re ready for your FREE energy audit, call today to schedule:

Salem Home Insulation: 503-363-2194 or Corvallis Home Insulation: 541-230-1225