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beagledave
10-12-2004, 08:38 AM
With natural gas prices expected to be 17% higher in my area..and probably a chilly winter, I'm thinking of finally gettin garound to adding attic insulation.

Our house is a ranch style home built in the mid 50s with blown in insulation between the joists.

Heres what I THINK I know..

- probably going to get fiberglass attic blankets
- lay them perpendicular to the joists
- don't fill the vent area
- the stuff is really itchy


Any other info? Anything to look for in buying the batts..any suggestions as far as installing the insulation?

TIA

Fuji Kitakyusho
10-12-2004, 09:39 AM
In addition to gloves, wear a dust mask.

(glass fibers in lungs = bad)

NutMagnet
10-12-2004, 09:56 AM
Insulating your ceiling is the second-best bang-for-the-buck, and well worth the effort.

First is to seal cracks around windows, doors and other thru-the-wall stuff (vents, pipes etc.)

From here (http://irc.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/cbd/cbd016e.html)

While the primary objective in using insulation is to reduce the over-all rate of heat flow, it is also important that the over-all resistance obtained should be uniformly good. Unless this is achieved, the variations in heat flow characteristics may lead to proportionately high variations in surface temperatures. Such variations cause dust patterns on walls and ceilings. The lath marks noticeable on the plastered finish of old uninsulated houses result from this. Extreme variations in surface temperatures may lead also to wetting by condensation or to the formation of frost in winter. It is scant reward for a building owner to know that he has paid for insulation to reduce his heating costs when he may be forced to redecorate walls and ceilings at frequent intervals, perhaps as frequently as once a year, to maintain an attractive interior for his premises.

In other word, make sure it's laid uniformly in the attic.

NurseCarmen
10-12-2004, 10:05 AM
I don't see why you want to go with fiberglass batting. It's expensive, you'd have to clean out the blown in for it to be efficient, and it's itchy as hell. I know the Menards and the Home Depot near my home both rent out the celluose insulation blowers for cheap. Heck, Menards rents it 5 hours free if you buy 10 bags of the blow in insulation. If you aren't using the attic anyway, there is no reason not to go with blow in. Batting is more often used in lived in spaces because it takes up less room.

TastesLikeBurning
10-12-2004, 10:10 AM
I'm an electrician by trade (though no longer do it), and just the thought of fibreglass insulation is enough to make my skin itch, what with the amount of rooves I've been in.

As it happens, I have a year old house which I will be getting insulation installed in very soon, and I will be going for something non-fibrous called Air-Cell, which I'm sure you will be able to find where you are, or at least it's equivalent.

It supposedly out-performs most other insulation methods.

AirCell (http://www1.air-cell.com.au/)

beagledave
10-12-2004, 10:15 AM
I don't see why you want to go with fiberglass batting. It's expensive, you'd have to clean out the blown in for it to be efficient, and it's itchy as hell. I know the Menards and the Home Depot near my home both rent out the celluose insulation blowers for cheap. Heck, Menards rents it 5 hours free if you buy 10 bags of the blow in insulation. If you aren't using the attic anyway, there is no reason not to go with blow in. Batting is more often used in lived in spaces because it takes up less room.

Good points..I'll have to look into blown in insulation. I guess I just went with what my dad did in the house I grew up in ;)

tanookie
10-12-2004, 11:19 AM
We insulated our house about 18 months ago. We too have a ranch built in the 50's.

The walls were under insulated due to 50 years of settling. There was about 6 inches in the attic. We had the blown in stuff done. 4 guys did the whole thing in less than a day and the gas company gave us a rebate on some of the cost.

Call your gas company and see what they have for energy savings programs.

Doctor Jackson
10-12-2004, 11:31 AM
Another vote for blown insulation. We did this last year in my Grandfather's house. Home Depot not only provides free use of a blower with a purchase of 10 bags, but allowed us to take 25 or 30 bags, use what we needed, bring back the unopened bags and pay after we finished. IOW, they wrote us up as taking 30 bags of insulation and a blower at pickup, then counted the number of bags we returned and charged us for what we used. It totally eliminated the chance that we would underestimate and either skimp or go back for more.

It's really a 3 person job: one person outside to break open the bags and feed the blower so you get a constant flow, one in the attic to work the hose and one in between to facilitate communication between the other 2.

Hints:
- You definately want to break open the bales and feed the machine outside! It's a messy, dusty process. The hose supplied with our blower was plenty long enough, but if you think you'll need more just ask the supplier.
- Both the feeder and the blower need to wear dust masks and goggles.
- It's a fairly easy job but communication between the feeder outside and the blower in the attic is essential. Someone needs to be able to tell the feeder to stop when the person in the attic needs a break or is close to finishing. A walkie talkie may work, but both parties will need to be able to hear it over the noise of the machine. We used my grandfather and it worked fine, albeit a little slow. It made him feel useful. Never mind the near heart attack I had when I turned and saw a 92 year old man at the top of the rickety disappearing stairway serenely checking on my progress.

beagledave
10-12-2004, 12:15 PM
We insulated our house about 18 months ago. We too have a ranch built in the 50's.

The walls were under insulated due to 50 years of settling. There was about 6 inches in the attic. We had the blown in stuff done. 4 guys did the whole thing in less than a day and the gas company gave us a rebate on some of the cost.

Call your gas company and see what they have for energy savings programs.

Apparently our energy company has a similar program (http://midamericanenergy.com/html/energy3g.asp)


If your insulation is below the recommended levels and you'd like to add more, your energy specialist will arrange a second appointment with an approved contractor who will install additional insulation in your home. MidAmerican Energy will pay up to 50 percent (maximum of $500) of the installed cost of the recommended insulation.

danceswithcats
10-12-2004, 12:21 PM
Regardless of the media chosen, make sure you do not interfere with passive ventilation of the attic. If you have ventilated soffits and a ridge vent, don't stuff or blow insulation into the rafter tails and block the flow of air. Good luck.

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