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Eco-friendly home guide

By: Catie Leary on Aug. 27, 2010, 11:37 a.m.

Photo: Jennoit/Flickr

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Checking your home's insulation is one of the quickest and most cost-effective ways to reduce energy waste and make the most of your money. Although insulation can be made from a variety of materials, it typically comes in four types:

Rolls and batts - Also known as "blankets," these are flexible products made from mineral fibers such as fiberglass and rock wool, which are available in widths conforming to standard spacing of wall studs and attic or floor joists.

Loose-fill insulation - Typically made of fiberglass, rock wool or cellulose, this type of insulation is formed into loose fibers or fiber pellet, which are blown into spaces where it is difficult to install other types of insulation.

Rigid foam insulation - Although foam insulation tends to be more expensive than fiber insulation, it's very effective in buildings with space limitations and where higher R-values (the level of resistance to heat transfer) are needed.

Foam-in-place insulation - This variety of insulation is blown into walls and reduces air leakages around windows and door frames.

When installing insulation, it is important to consider factors such as your climate, building design and budget.