Mold is natural, so what's the big deal?

Molds are natural and generally pose no adverse health effects outside the home. However, mold indoors can be an indoor air issue. Mold produces spores that become airborne. These spores and mold fragments are introduced into the respiratory system, where they can cause allergic reactions, trigger asthma attacks, and cause other health problems. EPA A Brief Guide to Mold and Moisture Control . See also Healthy Homes Partnership

What does insulation do? How does it make my house warmer?

Insulation doesn’t “heat” an area, it simply slows down heat movement through building materials. Since heat will always move to a colder source, in cold climates, insulation slows the heat from leaving the house and in hot climates insulation slows down the hot outside air from entering the cool inside. The result in both climates is energy saved by keeping the air conditioner or the furnace from operating as often.
There are many types and forms of insulation, and some …

What does the acronym SIR mean?

SIR refers to “Savings to Investment Ratio.” It is basically a calculation of whether a modification to a home will pay for itself in energy savings.  SIR is a most often used by the U.S. Department of Energy Weatherization Assistance program to determine the cost effectiveness and energy savings of applying weatherization measures (e.g. adding additional insulation to the attic).

It is the ratio of the savings generated by the weatherization project to the cost of the project. SIR is …

Can I install insulation myself, or should I hire a contractor?

Depending on the construction of the home, the amount and type of insulation present, and accessibility to specialized equipment, a handy consumer may be able to install insulation in a home.
For example, if the house has an open attic space without insulation, a consumer may be able to easily roll out glass fiber insulation. However, if the attic space is finished, or the attic requires additional blown-in insulation, the consumer will be required to have access to an insulation …