The Science of Experience



Location, Location, Location: How Much Insulation You Need Depends on Where Your Home is Located.

Posted by Becky Eades

Aug 6, 2015 11:30:00 AM

When building energy-efficient homes, insulation receives a lot of the focus. Choose the right insulation, apply it properly, and you can save yourself a lot of money on energy bills because your home will be well-protected from the outdoor temperature. How much insulation you need depends on where your home is located and the climate in that area.

Before you place insulation in a home, it's important to determine how much you need. Otherwise, you may end up wasting money on additional, unneeded insulation, or not purchasing enough insulation and having to deal with higher-than-needed energy bills.

R-value is a term that is used to refer to the insulation's ability to resist heat travel. In cooler climates, insulation with a higher R-value is recommended. In warmer climates, you can get away with using insulation with a lower R-value.

This infographic from EnergyStar will help you determine how much insulation you need based on your location. Zones 5 - 8, which include the Northern states and much of the Midwest, require the most insulation with the highest R-value. The further south you go, the lower the R-value of insulation is recommended.


Spray foam insulation offers a viable alternative to regular fiberglass insulation. It works well in most any climate. Since it has such a high R-value, a thin layer of it may be enough to insulate homes in warmer climates. In cooler areas, such as in Zones 5 - 8, you can have a thicker spray foam layer applied for more protection from the cold.

NCFI Polyurethanes is your go-to source for spray foam materials, equipment and education when building energy-efficient homes. Contact us to learn more about the benefits of spray foam insulation or to find a qualified applicator in your area.


Topics: Energy Efficiency