Insulating an Attic

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Introduction: Insulating an Attic

This is a simple, cheap way to insulate your attic.

Step 1: Do You Need It?

Disclamer: I am not responsible for any damage of your personal property, injury, cuts, scratches, or anything else. This involves going in your attic, if you do not feel comfortable doing this project ask a friend, or hire a professional. I am not responsible for your actions.

I DO NOT RECOMMEND DOING THIS IF YOU HAVE ASTHEMA

You're probably reading this because you need to insulate your attic, or would like to add some insulation to your attic. Either way this is a simple cheap way to take care of the problem.

I needed to insulate my attic after moving into a new house that had no insulation whatsoever. I decided to look in the attic because I had the hardest time keeping my house warm. My house was built in the 30's when houses were built without insulation.

I went to the home improvement store and looked at the insulation and decided on blow in insulation because it is recycled, doesn't itch, and is simple to work with. They only had one blower there and someone had it, and I did not want to rent it anyway, nor did I have a way to get it to my house (I drive a Honda Accord).

Step 2: Gather Materials

Depending on the size of your attic, and desired thickness of insulation you may need to by 50 bags or 5 bags. Remember...the thicker the insulation, the higher the R-Value, and the easier it is to heat/cool your house.

I recommend using an electric leaf blower due to the enclosed area and start-ups and shut-downs, but mostly for overall safety.

I also do not recommend doing this alone, get a buddy or family up there in case you pass out or need some help.

You will need:
Insulation
Leaf blower
Dust mask(s)
Extension cords
Friend/Family
Attic
Attic lights/flash lights/drop light

It took me about 18 bags of insulation and cost about $150

Step 3: Prepare the Blower

You can't just grab a leaf blower and use it as is, unless its missing the vent guard.

The leaf blower will need to be the mulching type (most are).

To remove the vent guard on the leaf blower I used, I simply had to remove four screws and was able to remove the guard without disassembling the whole blower.

Yours may be different, or may even just snap off.

Once the guard is off you're good to go.

Step 4: Enter the Attic With Tools Needed

My garage door tracks were mounted to part of the entrance making the attic entrance much, much smaller...but I fit...barley...in fact the hole was slightly smaller then the bag of insulation.

Step 5: Open Bag of Insluation and Dump It Out

Make sure you are wearing your mask!

Open a bag of insulation with a knife or tear it open. Make sure that you set it somewhere that will support it.

Begin insulating. Just point the end of the blower where you want insulation to go, and cram the inlet into the insulation and watch it fly! Cover all areas of your house as thick or thin as you'd like.

Step 6: That's It!

Once you've insulated to your satisfaction you're done!

Enjoy your now more-energy-efficient-home! Keep the heat in and the cold out.

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    30 Discussions

    If you want the new insulation to work you need to cover all the ceiling joist and the cross support members with a minimum of 3inches of blown insulation. if you don't encapsulate the wood the heat will pass through anywhere it shows through.

    0
    wmlaveck
    wmlaveck

    7 years ago on Introduction

    I need to insulate the attic above my garage and am thinking of using bat or roll insulation that have a vapor barrier. I also have an older home (50 yrs). I thought that a vapor barrier was to keep moisture in the house.

    0
    Farmer-Al
    Farmer-Al

    8 years ago on Step 6

    There is no danger of dust and the motor sparking is there?

    0
    rcarroll5
    rcarroll5

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    if u are using cellulose there is no danger of a fire. it is fire retardant and it has boric acid in it to keep animals from livin in ur attic.and its made from recycled paper. it is harmless to humans after it is bolwn in. u will need a dust mask with a rating of n95 or higher trust me i do this for a living. it doesnt taste very good!! you need to apply 8 to 10 inches to get your r38 insulation value. good luck

    0
    Peeet
    Peeet

    8 years ago on Introduction

    Dust for ever after can be a huge problem all through the house with this insulation. I have the problem in my house.

    These days this stuff is installed with a sealing coat over the top, but this doesn't stop insulation from the bottom or sides of the reservoir of fluff finding its way out of the roof space.

    Cool that you make your own insulation blower, but you know that many places that sell insulation ( Home Depot, Menards Lowes etc.) let you use for free a- For- real insulation blower! Just thought you'd like to know. Its fast and easy.

    0
    duncant20196
    duncant20196

    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    Yeah, but I didn't have a way to get it home because I drive a car, and there is a $400 deposit for it that I did not have at the time. But thanks!

    0
    jeffeb3
    jeffeb3

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    The home depot and lowes closest to my house both have a truck you can rent for $20 for 75 minutes. So far, I've used it several times and they've always let me use it for free if I'm using it to buy something from them.

    0
    ellislake
    ellislake

    11 years ago on Introduction

    the simplest and cheapest insualtion is plastic bags. im gona get round to do my instrcutable on cheapest insualtion ever. all you need to do is collect plastic bags rather than throwing them away and scrunch them up a little and put them between the joists then put a flat piece of plywood over them as a floor. that way theres no issue with weight and the bagsd are free and not going to waste on a dumping ground this owrks by trapping air inside the bags and insulates the loft. its simple i have done it in my loft but only about 10% completed so far.i think i will ahve to do the instructable soon as i got some free time coming up soon what does everyone think

    0
    vloar
    vloar

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    II dont want to be a wet blanket but f there was A fire it would seem that the fumes from the plastic could kill you?

    0
    bwpatton1
    bwpatton1

    11 years ago on Introduction

    We insulated our attic with this recently and it really has helped, we did it with the professional blower though, it was much easier, and once we figured it out, the work went fast!!

    0
    travisbaucom
    travisbaucom

    11 years ago on Step 6

    To go one step further in efficiency, you can install radiant barrier foil on top of the insulation or on the rafters of this attic. This will lower your carbon footprint even more. This website has some cool DIY instructions www.energyefficienttechnologies.net

    0
    bwpatton1
    bwpatton1

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    This REALLY WORKS, in our barn outside we installed this and you can feel the diffrence between the open spaces between rafters with and without, MAJOR diffrence, and it will save you in the long run.....

    0
    Pal
    Pal

    11 years ago on Step 6

    Just be careful with this method, as the soffit vents need to remain clear for proper ventilation. You can install plastic or cardboard ducts that extend up the roof a bit which are normally used anyways, but high powered blowing will likely clog those vents too. If you blow the material perpendicular you should minimize this, but extra care should be taken.

    0
    icerabbit
    icerabbit

    11 years ago on Introduction

    Could be handy one day for a small insulation job. Transporting the official hopper is difficult and would also be costly if you have to rent transportation. If you are in a particularly cold or hot climate I would certainly double up on the amount of insulation installed. I have 10 to 12 inches of this stuff in the attic.

    0
    thisdude
    thisdude

    11 years ago on Step 6

    looks cool but dangerous... if you were going to do more of these i would suggest building a hopper for the blower

    0
    burntbob
    burntbob

    11 years ago on Introduction

    Great way to get it into all the nooks and crannies without stepping somewhere you shouldn't and going through the ceiling!

    0
    cftbry
    cftbry

    11 years ago on Introduction

    OK I like the idea....but...I don't have an attic...I've heard of a paint that has inslative and reflective properties...but I don't know the name and can't find out any other info...anybody know what to do when you don't have an attic?

    0
    Dragon416
    Dragon416

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    I think what you are referring to is known as Kool-Seal Elastomeric Paint. It can be found at Lowe's.

    0
    davidglover
    davidglover

    11 years ago on Introduction

    Total Ghetto, I love it. Just bought my DAD the heaviest duty electric mulching leaf blower, I think though I will probably use the one from the home store. I do think I may use the leaf blower to blow air up though the softit vent to dislodge any insulation that might accidentally drop and block.