Tips for good home weatherization

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Q:  I recently spoke with an insulation contractor about insulating my 100-year-old house with a sprayed-on foam. Somewhere around R-40 is the recommended insulation for this area, but he said that his product's R-14 was sufficient. I never got a clear answer from him as to why that would be so, but it seemed to revolve around the fact that his product seals rather than just insulates. Do you have any information on this stuff, or know who else to talk to? --Marshall B. A:  There is a difference between insulating a building and sealing it, so the contractor is correct in that regard. However, I sense he is also making some misleading and overblown claims about his product. With standard blown-in fiberglass attic insulation, bits of fiberglass are blown into place with air. The loft of the fiberglass/air combination creates millions of tiny air pockets, which in turn slows down the movement of heated air from the house and helps keep that heat from being lost and therefore ...