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Ask Mr. Tight-Watt: Insulating new construction  Smart Choices Archive

Ask Mr. Tight-Watt: Insulating new construction

Insulation in the attic helps keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Ask Mr. Tight-Watt

It's the time of year when thoughts turn to staying warm inside. Good insulation is a component of keeping energy costs low, while maintaining a comfortable place to live. Read on to find information about insulation.

Question: Is it a good thing or a bad thing to spray one inch of spray foam in the attic before blowing fiberglass insulation? This is for new construction. –From Donna, a Smart Choices reader

Mr. Tight-Watt called on Jim Sayers, energy services director, Corn Belt Power Cooperative, Humboldt to answer Donna’s question.

Jim’s Answer: Many people spray a thin layer (about 1-2 inches) of foam as a way to seal the home from air infiltration because foam can fill in holes and gaps that otherwise might get missed if you caulk by hand. And adding fiberglass insulation on top of the foam to get your desired R-value may be more economical than using foam only at a greater thickness.

For more information about insulation, Jim suggests checking out these sources:
• Department of Energy tips on insulation  
• Insulating a New House (Do It Right the First Time), also from the Department of Energy
• Information about R-value and walls from Oak Ridge National Laboratory
• A previous Smart Choices article featuring information about attic insulation
• Other questions Mr. Tight-Watt has answered, including insulation questions, and you can ask Mr. Tight-Watt a question, too


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