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
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?
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.
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?
We had my daughter's Kitchener town-house attic insulated 2? years
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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).
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
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.
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.
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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