Insulation workers install many different types of insulating materials for basically five purposes: to prevent heat transfer, to conserve energy, to retard freezing, to protect personnel from burns and to increase operational efficiency and reduce fuel costs. Properly insulated buildings reduce energy consumption by keeping heat in during the winter and out in the summer. Insulating is performed in virtually every type of residential and commercial building in the country, as well as industrial plants, chemical factories, nuclear power plants, and military and space facilities. Insulation mechanics select and install the proper material for each and every type of insulation application. Insulation is installed using a variety of techniques-stapling, wiring, pasting or spraying depending on the type of surface to which the insulating material is being applied. For example, in order to insulate a steam pipe, a tube of insulation must be measured and cut to the required length, stretched open along the cut that runs the length of the tube, and slipped over the pipe. The insulation is then secured by stapling, taping, or wrapping and fastening wired bands around it. A protective sealant, finish or cover is then applied over the outside of the insulating material to help protect it. Basic insulating materials can include fiberglass, mineral wool, ceramic fiber, cellular glass, cellular foam, polyethylene, polystyrene, calcium silicate, perlite and insulating cements. Protective coverings include coatings of cement or mastics, reinforced paper, tar paper, canvass cloth, plastic, laminates and metals.