Planning carefully for insulation results in reduced utility bills and superior comfort during the life of the home. In this house, raised heel trusses accommodate R-60 insulation. | Credit: Paul Norton, NREL.
State and local building codes typically include minimum insulation requirements, but your energy-efficient home will likely exceed those mandates. To optimize energy efficiency, you should also consider the interaction between the insulation and other building components. This strategy is known as the whole-house systems design approach. If you would like to maximize the energy efficiency of your new home, consider ultra-efficient home design.
It is more cost-effective to add insulation during construction than to retrofit it after the house is finished. To properly insulate a new home, you’ll need to know where to insulate and the recommended R-values for each of those areas. Use the U.S. Department of Energy's Zip Code Insulation Calculator to determine where you need to insulate and the recommended R-values based on your climate, type of heating and cooling system, etc. The calculator also provides cost estimates and a rate of return.
Once you know where you need to insulate and the recommended R-values, review our information on the types of insulation to help you decide what type to use and where. Before you insulate a new home, you also need to properly air seal it and consider moisture control.
Choose a team of local building professionals familiar with energy-efficient home construction in your area.