Anyone here upgraded their attic insulation?

Currently our home from the late 1960's has R18 insulation in the attic. Nowadays the standard for brand new homes, at least in Ontario Canada is R50.
Was calling around for a couple of quotes to upgrade to R50 and it seems people want between $1.10 and $1.25 per sq. foot to bring up to r50. Since we have about 1350 square feet that's a steep cost, much more than I anticipated. I thought it was only going to be $800 or $900.
House is heated with a 96% afue natural gas furnance and cooled with a 10 seer central air. Central air is years away from being replaced as it's a well built unit. At least with cooling we have a variable speed low energy ECM blower and A-coil is clean as brand new and the refrigerant run to the compressor is short. Nothing more can be done to improve the efficiency of the hvac.
Is there any way that upgrading to R50 in that attic can pay us back in energy savings to make it worth our while? Any way to calculate this? Windows are in decent shape (installed 1984) as are doors. Very little draft considering the age of our home.
Anyone have any expierience and numbers to share on this matter?
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You're looking to pay people to do this? If the insulation in in the floor in the attic it's really easy to just buy rolls and unroll it across the floor (of course that means no storage on the floor).
They now have insulation that's coated so it doesn't irritate the skin and R-30 is probably less than 50 cents a foot for R30.
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Duesenberg wrote:

I am in Calgary Alberta. I always had my house built per my specs. 2x6 outer walls, triple pane Low E windows, our attic has R60 insulation. This is R2000 spec. house we live in. Energy audit is worthwhile expense to check how good your house is air tight. You can rent blower and blown in fiber glass is easy to do. Just cover yourself well and make sure you don't block the eves vent channels coming up to attic space.
Sounds like you only pay attention to the active components in saving energy. Static components like walls, windows, seals, weather strips things like that better not be neglected. If you don't want to pay for energy audit, take some IR pictures from outside your house. And what is the color of your roof?
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ago for what I remember was less than $800 and it will definitely pay for itself in a couple of years. We got in on the energy upgrade grants and insulated the basement at the same time. The grant paid enough to cover the insulation plus most of finishing the basement.
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Here is the background on why I ask:
We had our audit done specifically for a new furnace installed. Furnace breakdown at Xmas so it wasn't like my wife and I were planning on doing alot of work, we just hired the auditor so that we could get back a nice percentage rebate on an emergency purchase of a furnace. We live in Georgetown so pretty much same conditions as K-W with maybe a little less snow squalls.
Other than the furnace the auditor's only major highlight was the attic. He liked the windows, doors, basement insulation.He seemed surprised at how airtight the house is considering the age (43 years). He made a bigger deal out of the switching to low flush toilets.
We'd qualify for a $375 grant for upgrading to R50 in the attic but if the quotes are more than the $800 I was assuming the job would be. It would be nice to do the work myself but I'm gonna be disabled for next little while and the grants expire Mar. 31st 2012. According to the audit we just don't qualify for much else in grants.
The auditor was under the assumption it would be about $800 or $900 for attic insulation upgrade as well but he didn't recommend anybody and maybe legally he isn't allow to recommend. There used to be alot of fraud in the early days of the energy grant program.
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On Tue, 31 Jan 2012 21:51:32 -0500, Duesenberg wrote:

Rent a blower and do it yourself. Very simple if you have someone feeding the blower. Go for the fancier blower that can handle the clumps of blown insulation.
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On 1/31/2012 8:51 PM, Duesenberg wrote:

18 is for sure, not enough. But the price seems right. My man charges me a buck for r49's worth of loose blown cellulose.
--
Steve Barker
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Look at a seer comparison chart, even though your Ac is ok I think you could cut your electric bill in half by upgrading the Ac . How much you spend running the Ac would determine if it's worth while. You need a blower door test done to know what your air infiltration is, you just cant guess, look into getting an energy audit, your utility might offer help on getting it done cheaply, they will go over your whole house, all systems and give you a breakdown on what you have, costs to upgrade and payback.
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Audit has been conducted and that why I'm asking about attic insulation here. They didn't really specify typical payback "numbers" of attic insulation upgrades though, just highlighted the general benefits.
It won't hurt to re-read the report to see if I missed anything however regarding payback.
Personally I am not too concerned with our a/c as we can always bump up the temperature inside to cut down on costs. We have a 16 x 32 foot pool and we can just cool down on that, and besides the pool pump is the largest consumer of electricity in summer at our house, not the a/c.
We use the a/c mostly for night sleeping comfort, not for daytime comfort
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My house was originally built with R30 blown-in fiberglass insulation. In the Chicagoland area, it is recommended to be ideally about R50. Menards was running a sale about 2 months ago on blown-in fiberglass insulation by CertainTeed. Each bag covers about 100 sq feet to R19. Bought 12 bags at $15/bag (after rebate). Installation requires a blower. The blower rents for $35 for 3 hours. Was able to get the blower to the house, setup, blow in the 12 bags, and return the blower in about two and a half hours. The blower comes with a 100 foot hose and a remote electrical on/off switch. The blowing operation itself took only about an hour. I used the Intercomm feature of my cordless phones to communicate with my friend who was feeding in the bags. The total cost was under $250 (with taxes).
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You can drastically cut the cost by DIY, either fiberglass batts or blown in cellulose. HD or rental shops rent the eqpt for the blown in. Caculate how much you need and figure out what it would cost.
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Okay I took your advice and it seems to be a much better option
Home Depot and Home Hardware both sell blown in owens corning fibreglas that covers 39 sq. feet at r-50 for $28.97 plus 13% sales tax.
Now I only need to achieve an r32 upgrade so I figured that bag would do 52 sq. ft. Those shops around here essentially only sell one size bag so I gathered you just blow the required depth to achieve the desired R factor.
Machine rental is free at Home Depot with purchase of 10 bags.
So for 1350 square feet cost with taxes would be around $850.
Problem is I'm unable to walk until the end of the year and thus unable to do the job myself although my wife is more than willing to crawl into the attic and have me feed the machine at the bottom. Maybe I can find some handyman on kijiji or craigslist to help
$850 for doing it yourself still seems high but at least it's much more palatable, esp with grant money coming back of $375.
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For blown in fiberglass a 30% settling rate was shown on bags I just had installed, so you have to figure in extra. Where I live there are day laborers waiting outside my HD for a days work and pay.
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Don't you have any neighbors who are handy to help you???
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It's harder to cool just before bedtime here because the brick is still warm and the heat has infiltrated during the day. Much easier to cool during the day.
I see r11 in attic frequently. For my less than 1000 square attic, cost me less than $300 for the blow insulating and my labor, oh, one more person helper. That was adding 6-10 inches overtopping the r11.
I found out all the softet aluminum vents are covering a couple small holes drilled into wood. I'm working on cutting bigger slots.
I go around the house with infrared thermometer looking at walls, lamp sockets, etc. I have a bit of a problem near the upper corners of the walls. I could add crown molding to help insulate. My rule, in summer, the ceiling temp should be the same temp as average room temp, no higher, then you know there is enough insulation. In winter, it should not be colder than average room temp. By room temp, I don't mean wall temp. Those walls here show poorer performance on my test.
Greg
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wrote:

My experience is about the same as Greg's. Last year I updated a rental unit that I own about the same size for about the same price.
I bought the cellulose stuff and hand fluffed it with a leaf rake and carried it into the attic space in garbage bags to bring the old settled mineral wool level to the top of the joists. Then I added a layer of R-19 un-faced perpendicular to the joists. According to one online calculator I used, my payback factor was 4.6 months.
I think that was a reliable number. I was paying the bills during the remodel and I saw an instant drop in the heating bill. I did such a good job the gas company brought me a new meter in the spring.
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Colbyt
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On Sat, 4 Feb 2012 08:51:57 -0500, "Colbyt"

Fuinny thing - same thing happened at my daughter's place. insulated late summer, new meter next spring. I wonder????
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http://www.greentechservices.ca/ summarizes and links to the two subsidy programmes still current, one federal and one Ontario.
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
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