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Insulation project

Posted by admin on Dec 24th, 2008
Dec 24

We live in a home built in 1952, which apparently is before the concept of insulation. Last spring we tackled insulating our attic. It was probably, at best, insulated to an r-value of 5 in a couple of areas and completely devoid of insulation in most places. Now it’s probably somewhere between an r-value of 30-35 with 8-10 inches of blown in cellulose insulation. It cost us about $350 for the materials ($325) and blower rental ($20) and about 3 hours of our time one afternoon. It was a step in the right direction, but it didn’t have much of an effect in the heat this summer since the walls aren’t insulated.
One of the big projects I have slated for this winter is to finally insulate our walls. I’ve been looking into all of the different insulation methods and narrowed it down to two in particular – denim cellulose and spray foam. Both of which are (or at least can be) green, and I can do them myself. Without going into too much detail, the decision was ultimately made based on ease of installation and overall r-value. Cost was also somewhat of a factor initially, but comfort won out over cost in the end and I decided on soy foam insulation. Here are the basic comparisons base on 1200 sq ft of wall space (@ 1 inch deep):




    • installation requires at least 2 people and a hopper that can be turned off/on by the person applying the insulation


    • total cost for 1000 sq linear ft = $1050 (sorry, can’t find the link at the moment)


Spray foam (soy) Thanks for the correction Jamie!



    • single person insulation is feasible


    • total cost for 1000 sq linear ft = $1370


So for about $300 more than cellulose insulation we’ll be getting twice the rvalue per square inch. The decision was pretty easy in the end. There is one other “honorable mention” that I should point out. It is still green in the long run and a little closer in price to the cellulose insulation at about $1050 as well, although you will need to keep in mind that the foam I listed above includes shipping and 17 installation tools, while this kit does not (at least not at the time of this writing). I’m hoping to complete this project by mid-January.

Insulation project, initial results

Posted by admin on Apr 27th, 2008
Apr 27

Last weekend I blew insulation into the attic. It has been relatively temperate all week so the results of the project haven’t been very noticeable. Yesterday, however, it hit 95 degrees and I see the direct benefits finally.

There are a few factors to point out first. Last year the thermostat was set three degrees lower than it is this year. Also, the gable fan I installed a few weeks back will have an affect on the results as well. So, this won’t be a direct comparison, but still – the results are noticeable.

Last year, a 95 degree day would have caused the AC to be on somewhere in the neighborhood of 7-8 hours. Yesterday, the AC was on for a total of just under 3 hours – a whole four to five hours less than last year. That’s going to make a noticeable difference. When we replace the windows next winter, and possibly insulate the outside walls (hopefully we’ll be able to) then it should drop that time down to under an hour, I would imagine.