Sunday, January 3, 2010

Our Great, Big Attic Insulation Project

OK, so it turns out it's not as much a BIG job, as a MESSY one, but Scott (with the help of my dear dad,) finally insulated the attic floors of our 100+ year old home. It's also a 2 person job and proved fairly easy, with a few hours of prep work in the attic, one day of blowing in the insulation, and one afternoon of cleaning up the attic afterwards and reinstalling those original floorboards. (Ours is a full walk-up 3rd floor attic.)

You may remember this project was the recommendation made to us by the home energy audit contractors this summer.

Scott chose a product called greenfiber, which is a natural fiber insulation. My favorite things about it: contains no formaldehyde, produced using 10 times less energy than other types of insulation, no-itch, it's 85% recycled paper fiber (the labels say each 40 sq.ft. bag of insulation contains the equivalent of about 46 Sunday newspapers! What's not to love, right?

All in all, we went through 38 bags at $7.49 each. The blower machine to install it was a free rental with the purchase of the insulation, and looked like a tall shop vac. The guys installed the hoses and ran one right up the front of the house to the attic windows.

While my dad fed the insulation into the hopper, Scott guided the hose in the attic to the floors and voila! Did I mention it was messy though? The kids and I had to vacuum up every time the guys walked through the house, and the attic was a mess for a day while Scott finished the final details.
The only tools they really needed were a utility knife to open the packages, safety goggles (but I don't think either of them wore them,) dust masks which they did wear, and knee pads for Scott working on the floor.

Unfortunately for my dad, Scott picked what may have been the coldest day of the year to do this project, and the hopper is supposed to be operated outside. Thanks for being such a trooper, Dad!

Scott figures the approximate R-Value of the amount of insulation they installed (and greenfiber gives you a chart to help you determine how to achieve varying R-Values) to be around R-20 based on how he was able to pack about 6 inches of insulation into the floors.
We were AMAZED at how there was an INSTANT change in temperature in the rooms affected by the insulation. The difference was immediately, shockingly noticeable. No more space heater necessary in the front bedrooms! A big difference for under $300. Fantastic!

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