Department of Energy
Assistant Secretary
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy



  • Why Insulate Your House?
  • How Insulation Works

Which Kind of Insulation is Best?

  • What Is an R-Value?
  • Reading the Label
  • Insulation Product Types

Insulating a New House

  • Where and How Much
  • Air Sealing
  • Moisture Control and Ventilation
  • Installation Issues
    • Precautions
    • Attics
    • Walls
  • Design Options
    • Crawlspaces and Slabs
    • Advanced Wall Framing
    • Metal Framing
    • Insulating Concrete Forms
    • Massive Walls
    • Structural Insulated Panels
    • External Insulation Finish System
    • Attic Ventilation or a Cathedralized Attic

Adding Insulation to an Existing House

  • Where and How Much
  • How Much Insulation Do I Already Have?
  • Air Sealing
  • Moisture Control and Ventilation
  • Insulation Installation, the Retrofit Challenge
    • Precautions
    • Attics
    • Walls
    • Basement Walls
    • Floors and Crawl Spaces

Resources and Links

About This Fact Sheet

About This Fact Sheet

The DOE Insulation Fact Sheet offers helpful advice on insulating your existing house and supplies information you need to know if you are building a new home. It is available in two versions - portable document format (pdf) and on-line version you are reading here. In order to view the pdf version you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on you computer. The web-based version includes recommended insulation levels based on the ZIP code of a locale.

PDF Version
HTML Version

The insulation levels recommended in this Fact Sheet were chosen based on a life-cycle cost analysis. This analysis includes many assumptions about system efficiencies, and what rate of return you would like to earn on your investment. If you want to find out more about how the recommended insulation levels were chosen, please see the Supporting Documentation.

Supporting Documentation for the 2008 Update to the Insulation Fact Sheet
2002 Addendum to Supporting Documentation
Supporting Documentation

Prepared by
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831-6283
managed by
UT-Battelle LLC
for the
under contract DE-AC05-00OR22725


The Building Technology Program
Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
1000 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20585-0121

Building Envelope Research
Oak Ridge National Laboratory

For more information, contact the program manager for Building Envelope Research:

André O. Desjarlais
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
P. O. Box 2008, MS 6070
Oak Ridge, TN 37831-6070

E-mail Andre Desjarlais

This page updated on October 17, 2008.