I noticed my ac bills were getting high ($300 per month during
summer). I don't know too much about insulation/home repairs but I
had a feeling insulation wasn't good enough.
I called a local contractor to do inspection of insulation on home and
give me quote for iimproving it.
Turns out the insulation job was poorly done and there isn't enough
insulation up there.
I was told that Icynene insulation was the best. It's a type of foam
that gets sprayed on.
This is supposed to be the best. I was told it would cost about $2
per square foot to install it.
Is this a good price? What other methods of insulation are there? I
live in Houston, TX - the summers here are brutal! It's very hot and
humid. I hate it here during summer...I'm happy here during
I want to get the best insulation possible because I don't want to pay
lots of $$$ for electric bills for AC in the house.
I really don't care about cost, I just want to make sure I get a fair
price and the best insulation possible.
Attic insulation is probably best purchased on the basis of R value. Bid the
job to several different contractors and on the basis of a specified R value.
Your local utility company probably has a recommended R value for attic
spaces. Look at AC unit efficiency (SEER rating) for the next step in cost
Very good advice. Don't get hung up on the type of insulation. It all
is good and is measured by the same "R value"
The only additional note I would suggest is the question of attic
ventilation and sealing of the attic floor. You generally want good attic
ventilation to remove excess heat and especially moisture to prevent attic
and roof damage.
You want to reduce air flow form the cooled space below and the attic.
This can be a problem for older homes. blown in insulation can help there.
thank you for all the great advice!
I will proceed to check all duct work for leaks, make sure ventilation
is good and get the R value of current setup and proposed setup.
I'll also check with local authorities for what R value is recommended
in these parts. I'm guessing it would be high due to the very hot/
humid weather during summers.
I also know the windows are single pane (lousy quality). I can feel
them leaking when it's cold outside. I put the shades down to help
that a bit.
I also know replacing these windows with dual or triple pane will be
pretty $$$. But it's all money well spent. I prefer to spend money
on the house (possibly increasing value of home) instead of spending
money on energy bills!
Thank you all so much,
Comments based on the assumption you have a wood frame house with
vented attic and ducts in the attic:
Duct sealing and insulation.
Equipment age, condition, and efficiency.
Amount of insulation.
If you want to look deeper, consider sealing the attic; placing
insulation such as spray on foam on the underside of the roof deck,
rather than on the attic floor; allowing some treated air in the
attic. The Building Science Corporation web site discusses this.
First priority is attic ventilation. Without ventilation, insulation won't
work very well. There are three usual methods of attic ventilation:
1. Ridge vents
2. Passive devices such as wind turbines
3. Active devices such as fans.
None, however, work without adequate soffit vents. You can't have too much
So, your attack on the problem should be:
1. Install more - a lot more - soffit venting. You can do this yourself (cut
hole, cover with screen, repeat).
2. Have a ridge vent installed.
3. Decide whether you want several turbines or a fan.
4. Block all access to the attic from the house. Again, you can do this
yourself with a ladder, "Great Stuff," duct tape, packing material, dead
cat, or whatever works. You must ruthlessly attack all light fixtures,
Now you're ready to attack the attic itself. Check back here when ready.
I'd get the Icynene insulation srpayed on the attic floor up to the
joists. Then on top of that put in layers of regular (unfaced)
fiberglass batts. It's also possible that tyour attic ventilation
could use some help. There are solar powered fans that can be put in
the roof that will keep it well vented. I'd also check for air leaks,
and if you don't already have double or triple pane windows, get them.
And checking your existing AC unit wouldn't hurt. It might have leaky
ducts (or have poorly designed ducts), be low on charge, have a dirty
coil, or it might just have a low SEER value.
On Jun 8, 1:18 pm, email@example.com wrote:
Whats your R value now, how do you know its a poor job, what R are you
contracting for, icynene is what R value, foams go to R7.5, some are R
4.5. R value is what you need to know and buy. R 50 is optimal, but
for your area-zone maybe less. Is 2$ a foot buying you R 4.5 or R 50.
To foam you will want the old stuff removed
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