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Law of Diminishing Returns: Insulation Edition

Insulation isn’t glamorous nor is it something we think about in the middle of summer. Your energy bills are probably reduced if your home was constructed for energy efficiency. However, many aging homes aren’t insulated like their new or remodeled counterparts. By adding insulation to your home, you will see ROI (return on investment) within a few years; as well as you and your family will be more comfortable whether it’s the middle of July or January. Thermostat battles will finally be over!

Insulation and Beer, What Do They Have In Common?

Ideally, you want your home to handle moisture and the fluctuation in seasonal temperatures. This is when many of us think about insulation, but many homeowners wonder “how much insulation do I need?” In Economics, there is a principle referred to as the “Law of Diminishing Returns.” You’re probably wondering, “what do insulation, economics, and beer have to do with each other?” Great question! After the first few beers on a hot summer evening, additional beers have less and less of an effect – at least a positive effect! This results in diminishing potential for that beer to taste as good as the first one. You wake up the next morning wishing you stopped drinking the beer all together (Not that everyone at Dean knows anything about that. We take all things in moderation, including our beer!)

The same can be said about insulation. If you keep increasing the R-value in a wall of insulation, you’ll experience diminishing returns of ROI on your investment. For example, the more and more insulation that is added reduces the heat flow. Once the R-value gets bigger and bigger you get less than with the smaller R-value. This is what Dean means when we said, “diminishing returns.” Now, the important take away is adding insulation to under or uninsulated areas in your home can save you money on energy.

Selecting the Right Insulation, So I Don’t Experience LDR?

The benefits of insulation vary, depending on the material used (another curve ball we’re sorry!). R-values are defined for a region. For instance, you don’t want to select an R-value for your home in Southern Maryland that someone would in Texas. Insulation designed for a Texas home isn’t equipped to provide a positive effect in Maryland homes. In our example below, we’ll assume a customer has come to us and wants to insulate their attic. The most common type of insulation is as follows:

  • Batted Insulation: Effective and affordable option for many homeowners and their attics. A batted insulation is ideal for an area that doesn’t have too many elements that need cutting, i.e., wires or pipes.

Installing insulation can be a weekend DIY project, however, you may compromise on the quality and energy efficiency of the product if it isn’t installed properly.

Professionally Installed Insulation for Your Home

Having a professional assist you every step of the way from selecting the correct R-value, the space you’re insulating may be tricky to gain access; or there are possible moisture issues/past signs of water damage. Your install team has the correct tools and know-how to guide you and install your selected product without compromising your health or the performance of the material. Luckily if you hire a professional install team, such as the insulation team at Dean Home Supply, you can enjoy a beer (or two) while they install the material for you.

Questions? We'd be happy to answer any questions you have in the comments, or send us an email to

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