Insulation the First Step in Saving Energy

Frequently Asked Insulation Questions

How much insulation should I have in my house?

For insulation in Seattle-area wood framed buildings, we recommend R49 in the attic. Floors should have R30.

The R-value is a measurement of the insulation’s resistance to the change in heat. In general, a higher R-value number yields a better insulation. These R-values take into account the insulation’s compilation and thickness, so amount of insulation you need will vary by product.

Can I have too much insulation in my house?

Yes, but only if you cover over areas where your house ventilates (soffit vents). It is important to maintain sufficient air flow throughout the house for proper moisture exchange.

Can newspaper be used as insulation?

In the old days, people did put newspaper in the walls as insulation. But as many found out, that doesn’t mix well with electrical wires that run through wall. Plus, our Northwest weather will turn it into a mold trap. Some do-it-yourself guides may advocate for newspaper insulation, but we believe the risks outweigh any reward. If you suspect you have newspaper in the walls of your home, consider having spray wall insulation installed. If you are replacing siding, consider insulated siding (or putting insulation under siding), as this is a great way to keep heat transfer to a minimum without insulation of walls.  

Is insulation environmentally friendly?

Certainly! Cellulose insulation is made out of recycled paper, newspaper, and plant fiber, making it a green option. Fiberglass is made from glass fibers, which is made from an organic material (sand). Overall, any insulation you choose is going to save you and the planet energy, which contributes to a green lifestyle.

Why is insulation the first upgrade to do when trying to save energy?

The Department of Energy starts its whole discussion of energy saving in the home with insulation. Houses are built today with insulation as a standard feature to keep heat transfer to a minimum, but this wasn’t always the case. Insulation, like other aspects of your house, degrades over time. You can improve your energy use by up to 30% if your insulation is up to code. While houses have many different ways to heat and cool, insulation is a standard way to gain tremendous energy savings.

What is a Home Energy Audit?

A Home Energy Audit is a series of tests targeting home performance concerns including comfort, efficiency, and safety. The tests include an infrared scan of the home, a blower door test, an attic and crawlspace video scan, combustion safety testing, and more.

The initial audit usually takes 3 hours, and is performed by our BPI Certified Home Performance Technicians who are trained in all aspects of home performance and building science. They genuinely care about the efficiency and comfort of your home and will go above and beyond to give you the information and resources you need to save energy and make your house feel more like home.

After the audit, your Home Energy Specialist will go over the report and results of your home energy audit with you. You’ll receive a prioritized action plan that will help you improve your home’s comfort, efficiency, and health.

Where is Washington Energy’s insulation based?

We have a location in Lynnwood and one in Tacoma where we dispatch our trucks for insulation and other services.

Are there insulation rebates for Washington residents? 

Yes, our local utilities such as PSE, Snohomish PUD, and Tacoma Power offer insulation rebates and we are a participating contractor with those three programs. Our representative will instantly deduct the applicable rebates from your contract.

Why do you recommend cellulose insulation?

We offer all types of insulation, but we typically recommend cellulose because it is environmentally friendly, flame-retardant, repels rodents, and has the highest R-value per inch (energy efficiency) of all the blown-in insulations.


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