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Have you ever noticed how some homes have major icicles, while others have none? 

The major reason for this is that many homes, even those built in the 1980s, are not properly insulated. This is why almost half of residential energy costs goes to heating and cooling homes, according to Energy Star,a government program that promotes energy efficiency.

The good news is that homeowners can reduce their energy usage, prevent expensive water damage, while maintaining a warm and comfortable home, by taking simple steps to use energy more efficiently.

The first line of defense for most homeowners is to insulate their attics, which can even be done in the dead of winter. While most homes have some insulation, it is estimated that only 20 percent of homes built before 1980 are well insulated. 

For example, your attic, ideally, should have an R-Value of 49. Most homes only have an R-Value of 19. To find out if you have enough attic insulation, measure the thickness of the insulation. If it is less than 7 inches of fiberglass or rock wool, or 6 inches of cellulose, you could probably benefit by adding more.

If you have an unheated attic without a floor, it is extremely easy to add insulation. Simply install unfaced fiberglass batts perpendicular to the joists. It is also important that you install ventilation channels and insulation blockers between the rafters if you getting icicles on your roof.  If you have a floor or sloped cathedral ceiling, it is more difficult and you should consult a contractor.

You should also check your unheated basement and crawl spaces. If there isn’t any insulation, you can install it between your floor joists. By using a wire or metal rod, it will hold the fiberglass batts in place.

If you decide to tackle one of these projects, make sure you wear the proper clothing, mask and eye protection.

Let me leave you with a trick to make the project easier. When cutting the insulation to the proper length, use a piece of wood as a straight edge, which will compact the insulation, making the cutting much easier.

To learn more about energy saving tips, visit Unitil's energy efficiency tips page.

By John DiNapoli, municipal and community services manager for Unitil

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About Unitil Corporation

Unitil Corporation provides energy for life by safely and reliably delivering natural gas and electricity in New England. We are committed to the communities we serve and to developing people, business practices, and technologies that lead to the delivery of dependable, more efficient energy. Unitil Corporation is a public utility holding company with operations in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Together, Unitil’s operating utilities serve approximately 105,600 electric customers and 82,700 natural gas customers. For more information about our people, technologies, and community involvement please visit https://unitil.com.


For more information please contact:
Alec O'Meara

Media Relations Manager
OMeara@unitil.com
Phone: 603-773-6404

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