Home Maintenance Series – Add attic insulation to lower heating and cooling costs by as much as $600 per year.

Adding insulation can not only save you money but can improve the comfort of your home. While a insulation addition project may not have a fast return on investment in terms of cost savings, it is still one of those projects that is usually DYI friendly (unless you are using spray foam, which should be left to the professionals) and will save money over the life of the home.

Save about $600 per year by boosting the amount of attic insulation from R-11 to R-49. Depending on the type of materials you use, figure on paying an insulation contractor about $1,500 to insulate an 800-square-foot attic, which pays back your investment in three years. You’ll spend about half that to do the job yourself.

Do you need more attic insulation?

A good, quick way to check if you need insulation is to look across your attic floor. If the existing insulation comes up just to the tops of the joists, then you probably need to add insulation. If you can’t see the joists and the insulation is well above the tops of the joists, you’re probably okay and you won’t recoup the cost of adding more.

Methods for insulating an attic

Add insulation to your attic one of three ways:

Roll-on or blanket-type insulation comes as rolls of fiberglass batts, either 15 or 23 inches wide—designed to fit between the width of typical framing. If your attic already has some insulation in the attic floor, roll out the batts at right angles to insulate over the framing members.

If you’re doing the job yourself, blanket-type material is easiest to work with. Be careful not to compress it or it won’t be as effective.

Loose-fill or blown-in insulation requires a machine that shoots a stream of loose-fill cellulose over the existing attic floor framing. This is typically a job for an insulation contractor. The advantage is that loose-fill insulation does a great job of filling in small crevices and other hard-to-reach areas.

Sprayed foam polyurethane is a good choice if you plan to turn your attic into a finished room. In that case, you’ll want to insulate the roof—not the floor. Sprayed foam polyurethane molds to rafters, blocks water vapor, and has a high R-rating per inch. Expect to pay about double the per-square-foot cost of roll-on and loose-fill insulation.

How much attic insulation is enough?

To determine how much to add, look up the recommended amount for your area, then subtract the value of your existing insulation. If you don’t know, you can figure it out using the Home Energy Saver online energy audit tool.
Read more: http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/insulation/attic-insulation-savings/#ixzz289Tlk7pz

About gvenice

I have over 25 years of electrical engineering and business management experience. I previously owned and managed a multi million dollar engineering firm. My work took me all over the globe, managing the construction of manufacturing plants where I built a reputation of providing superior service, getting projects done on time and within or under budget. My dedication to the fine details and logical approach to accomplishing tasks provide a huge benefit to my Real Estate clients. After selling my business and retiring to this area, I found a new passion in the Real Estate business and I bring to this business the same level of professional skill and conduct that has made mr successful in the past. My global exposure and extensive travel are also an asset when dealing with a customer base that is located worldwide. An avid boater, I have a thourough understanding of the waterways of East Tennessee and the intricacies involved in dealing with the TVA and the Army Corps of Engineers.
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