Why not reduce heating costs with good insulation?

Why? because good insulation is expensive and hard to install.

There are several choices available to a homeowner regarding attic insulation, but none of them are easy. For example;

In terms of quick and easy installation, fiberglass batts are king. According to the folks at Handyman Magazine, Fiberglass batts are the cheapest, easiest way to insulate new walls. However, they’re often installed poorly—and even small gaps can reduce efficiency as much as 25 percent.

Loose fill fiberglass is a better choice. A little harder to install and itchy, but good. It is the choice of most new construction contractors.  To meet the current standard of R49, you will need 16.25 inches. It’s important that the insulation is spread evenly.

Along the same lines and environmentally greener is cellulose. It’s just ground up newspapers, mineral oil, boric acid for fire control, salt to discourage mice and mineral oil to make the boric acid and salt to stick to the newspapers.

That’s it.

One complaint about cellulose insulation is that it compresses over time. And that’s true. But it only compresses to a certain point, and is an effective vapor barrier. And putting more on top is easy.

According to Mike Holmes (yup, THAT Mike; Holmes on homes. Don’t you LOVE that guy? No? Huh.), the very best insulation is closed cell spray foam. Of course, it isn’t HIS dime. The stuff is pricey.

It is defiantly a job for professionals. A typical application is performed by professional insulation contractors. The main components of a spray foam insulation system include a large spray truck, where the ingredients are heated and mixed. An air compressor, and a specially designed spray gun with hoses attached that run out to the spray truck.


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About the author

Joe has many years of experience as a Home Inspector. Joe is a proud member of ASHI, MAHI, WAHI & SAAR. He follows the Best Practices as described by the American Association of Home Inspectors and the Wisconsin Association of Home Inspectors. He is licensed in Wisconsin and is Radon Certified. Joe also complies with ASHI's Code of Ethics.

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