Sunday, January 24, 2016

DIY Blown-in Insulation Using GreenFiber Insulation

We had a giant hail storm back a few months ago and after that we needed some major repairs to our home.  We got a brand new metal roof and vinyl siding.  Our home looks like new now but that's a whole other post, but today I wanted to share with you how we went one more step and insulated our attic with DIY blow-in GreenFiber Insulation.
Since the house was better insulated from the outside we decided to go ahead and insulate all we could from inside too.  We've been wanting to this for a couple years now, but just never took the time.  We live in Texas so summers here are brutal.  We knew this job was for the cooler months due to it being in the attic and the new roof and siding gave us that little nudge we need to proceed.
Our home was built in 1983, so it 33 years old.  The before picture is 33 year old "pink stuff" insulation, you know, the itchy kind.  The after picture is our new insulation.  It is GreenFiber Cellulose insulation, the non-itchy kind.
Even though the new insulation is the non-itchy kind we suited up because of all the 33 year old dust that was in the attic.  For this job they recommend you wear a dust mask with a respirator button and safety glasse because this material does produce dust that you do not want to breath or get into your eyes.

First we cleaned the attic removing all un-needed material from the area to be blown and then we got to work.
You will want to calculate how much insulation you need for your home.  Go here to GreenFiber to get your calculations.  We are region 3 with existing insulation so they recommended R25 to R38 for us.  This helps you determine how many bags of insulation you need to purchase.
We purchased our insulation at our local Lowe's store. They offer you the blowing machine FREE with the purchase of 20 bags or more.  We went ahead and purchased 40 bags just in case and that ran us about $321.00.  There is also a deposit of $250.00 for the machine, but that is refundable when you return it back to the store on time.

NOTE:  We noticed that if you order your insulation online you can save quite a bit of money.  Here's the link to what we bought.  It was $7.79 online opposed to $10.41 in the store.  We received another 5% off for using our Lowe's credit card.  Woohoo!  They will email you when your order is ready for pick-up at your store.
This is the first blowing machine we had, we actually had to go back and get another one because this one went out on our sixth bag of insulation.  We had even followed other customers of Lowe's recommendations to test the machine in store before you leave with it and we still had bad luck so you never know.
The process is very simple. Keep the blowing machine outside of the house because its a messy process.  Attach the blowing hose to the machine and string the hose up into the attic.  Close off the attic with plastic to keep the dust contained up there and not in your house.
NOTE: For perfect communication, we reccomend you have the person feeding the hopper and the person directing the insulation be in contact via cellphone with earbuds so you have your hands free for work.

When everyone is in place, turn on the machine and load 1/2 of one bag, broken into small pieces into the hopper.  Continue adding a 1/2 bag at a time being careful not to overload the machine.

I was in charge of keeping the hopper fed.  My honey was the one directing the insulation where it was needed and the kiddo was holding the extra long hose behind him to keep from getting into a jumbled mess.  This helped tremendously!
Our attic is a criss-crossing maze of central air ducting that took some patience in navigating. Not for the faint of heart people!
Before the blowing of insulation started, my Honey used these rafter vent spacers to make sure he didn't fill up the air vents he'd installed for air circulation for the eves of the house.  These insure that you don't fill up your vent air space with insulation.  The house still needs to breath outside air.
Here he is locating a vent and making his way to install the vent spacer.  It was a very tight squeeze, but he got it done!  Great job honey!
This is what is looks like after you are done.  The best article I read (read here) on this GreenFiber insulation says the material will settle over time so to make sure you blow in more than you think you need while you're already up there.  Our home is 1500 square feet and we used about 35 bags in total and got a good 10 inches all over the attic.

That night we noticed that it seemed to sound different in the house and we slept a little warmer than normal too!  I can't wait to see our electric bill drop down.  The real test will be this summer when we reach temperatures of over 100 degrees.

It doesn't have to be done all at once.  It is a slow process in the works! C-ya next time!

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1 comment:

  1. Wow, what a project to tackle! Thanks for sharing with us at Brag About it!


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