When your home has poor insulation, you use more energy to keep a comfortable room temperature. In some homes, over 60 percent of the energy used goes into heating and cooling - energy and money that is wasted if you can’t keep the unwanted air out.
Whether you’re improving your home or building one from scratch, insulation is one of the most practical and cost-effective ways to make your home more energy efficient.
With better insulation, you’ll be warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer without running energy intensive heating and air conditioning, cutting down your monthly expenses and your carbon pollution.
You can insulate your roof, windows, floors and walls. Search for “home energy audits” in your area to find an expert who can help determine where you need insulation most and how much you need. If you decide to DIY, use materials that are safe for the environment, like recycled denim and newspaper products.
If your windows have metal frames or are more than 10 years old, upgrading their insulation could have a significant impact on your energy bill and carbon pollution.
Check with your energy supplier or local government for programs that can subsidize or even pay for your insulation (such as the Mesures d'Utilisation Rationnelle de l'Energie in Europe and the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency in the United States).
Better insulation will improve the air quality in your home, keeping out moisture that causes mold which can affect lung health.
Depending on your home, upgrading your insulation can be low cost to install, but with a long lifespan it will cut your energy bills and carbon pollution for years to come.
If you’re improving your window insulation, high performance glass lets in natural light, which not only makes your home look great but also means you’ll use less energy for lighting.
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Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency
Heating accounts for 63% of home energy use in Europe.
High performance glass reduces the amount of energy needed for lighting and improves heating and cooling efficiency.
MURE database on energy efficiency measures in the European Union
Best and Most Sustainable Insulation: Safe, Eco-friendly, LEED Compliant, High R-Value
Heating and cooling account for 51% of home energy use in the US.
Impact metric calculations
To determine the carbon emission reduction estimates related to adopting a home and window insulation, the following calculation were performed:
Home Insulation: ((1/thermal resistance value before insulation improvement) - (1/thermal resistance value after insulation improvement)) x (surface area) x ((interior temperature) - (exterior temperature)) x (hours of cooling or heating per year) x (residential energy emission factor) / (12 months per year) = kg CO2e / month
Window Insulation: (((1/thermal resistance value before insulation improvement) - (1/thermal resistance value after insulation improvement)) x (surface area) + 1.08 x (air infiltration rate) x ((interior temperature) - (exterior temperature)) x (hours per year) x (residential energy emission factor) / (12 months per year) = kg CO2e / month
Total: Home Insulation + Window Insulation = kg CO2e / month
For detailed calculations, references and assumptions, please see our Methodology.