- The North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA) reported that approximately 90% of U.S. single-family homes are under-insulated and are wasting energy and money, as well as decreasing homeowners' comfort levels.
- The NAIMA estimate — based on the 2009 Residential Energy Consumption Survey, published by the U.S. Energy Information Administration — indicates that increasing home insulation can decrease energy use and reduce carbon dioxide emissions, as well as other pollutants.
- NAIMA's announcement coincides with Energy Star's launch of its second "Rule Your Attic!" campaign, which aims to raise consumer awareness of the benefits of insulation and to encourage homeowners to diagnose home insulation needs and even install additional insulation themselves.
Curt Rich, President and CEO of NAIMA, said the release of the association's estimates on under-insulated homes is particularly important as the weather begins to drop with the approach of winter.
"The fall is when many homeowners around the country begin thinking about home improvements to increase comfort and reduce their energy bills," Rich said. "Research like this should reinforce our message to homeowners, and to policymakers, that added insulation has real and significant benefits."
Rich said that because homeowners don’t see insulation, they tend to ignore its importance and the fact that insulation has a "three times greater impact on the average home’s energy and comfort than windows or doors."
According to Jonathan Levy, Professor of Environmental Health at Boston University School of Public Health, nationwide residential electricity use "would drop by approximately 5% and natural gas use by more than 10%" if the insulation in all U.S. homes complied with 2012 International Energy Conservation Code requirements.
With these new estimates, builders can further offer their services to homeowners looking to improve their insulation and ensure they utilize the proper amount of insulation when constructing new homes. In July, the Building Science Corp. reported that building insulation of all types perform equally well, as long as they are properly installed and sealed — debunking the prevailing belief among builders and installers that insulation quality varies depending on the material.