Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

4 of 10
This is the place to start, says Karen Schneider, a spokeswoman for Energy Star. Along with sealing up leaks, insulation should be the first upgrade a homeowner considers. "Sometimes people buy highly rated energy-efficient windows and they complain about drafts. But it's not the window; it's the insulation. Especially if you live in an old house," says Schneider. "Insulation deteriorates over time. If your house is 50 years old and hasn't had anything done, you can bet you need insulation."

Insulation requirements vary by region but must meet 2009 standards set by the International Energy Conservation Code. The insulation must have a five-year life span or two-year warranty. Insulated siding does not qualify. Labor is not included, and the tax credit is capped at $1,500.

NEXT: Roofing

Last updated May 07 2009: 12:57 PM ET
More Galleries
Ralph Lauren's many looks A look at his brands and iconic creations More
8 biggest job killing companies of 2015 Whole Foods became the latest corporate giant to lay off workers. Here's a look at the companies that have announced the most jobs cuts this year. More
America's best beer towns Here are the best cities to crack open a cold one and celebrate Oktoberfest, according to Trulia. More

Special Offer