Most modern homes are insulated well, but some older homes could stand to have some additional insulation put in. The only way to figure out if you need more insulation is to find out what the recommended R-values for insulation are in your area. They vary from region to region. Then you will want to check the amount of insulation you have in your attic and basement or crawl space to see if it matches the recommended levels of insulation. There are various types of insulation you can buy: blankets, batts, and loose cellulose insulation.
They all are good for different situations. In the attic you can use any one of these types of insulations. Blankets can be used in the attic as well. For walls, loose cellulose is often used by blowing it into the wall spaces. In the basement, you might want to try putting batts in between the floor joists and along the walls.
Try to keep a good amount of ventilation in the attic and crawl space. You don't want to over-insulate the space. If you don't leave enough air space for insulation, warm air can rise in the winter and condense in your attic into moisture where it will end up trapped by too much insulation.
This can cause rotting. The same is true about the basement, if you have too much insulation water can be trapped and cause rotting. You should try to keep the insulation away from any metal flues or recessed light fixtures. Try to also keep it away from masonry chimneys.
For safety reasons, you should handle the fiberglass insulation with gloves, goggles, and a respirator on. This may seem like overkill but you don't want the fiberglass particles getting into your lungs. Over the years, health concerns from breathing in fiberglass fibers has increased and should be taken into consideration when installing your own insulation. When insulation your home, don't forget your windows. They should be weather-stripped to keep drafts from reducing the energy efficiency of the house.
In addition, if you see any area that has cracks, try to caulk them up. If you have enough money and want to invest in double-glazed windows, these help to insulate the home against heat loss from the windows. Insulating your home is not a difficult task. There are many different people who can help you get the information you need from R-values for your area to the types of insulation best suited for you job.
As always, take your own personal safety into account when choosing to install the material. Try to follow the manufacturer's directions and keep the ventilation clear so that moisture does not accumulate and cause rot. After you have finished insulating the basement and attic, take a look at your windows and doors and see where some additional weather-stripping might help. If you're still not happy with the warmth of your home, then think about installing double-glazed windows for added insulation value and home efficiency.
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