Cellulose insullation is made from recycled newspaper and it saves energy. By adding more insulation to your attic you may save thousands of dollars in energy bills over the life of your home for a relatively small investment.
Adding cellulose blow-in insulation can be a weekend project that a husband and wife team can accomplish. Here is how to get started.
Locate your home's attic access. It may be located inside the home, such as in the garage, or it may be a small door located on the end gable of the home. Using a ladder carefully inspect how much insulation that your attic has. If you have only fiberglass batts between the rafters, you may benefit from adding another few inches of blown-in cellulose insulation. Most homes have R-30 insulation, in the form of fiberglass batts. This is fine for temperate climates, but for extremely hot or cold areas it may not be enough. The main thing you want to watch out for when adding cellulose insulation is blocking the air flow from your eaves. Most homes have soffit vents that allow air to flow up from your eaves and out a ridge vent or roof vents. If you block this air flow with piles of cellulose insulation you are doing more harm than good.
Once you have determined that you can add some insulation and not block air flow, calculate the square footage of the attic. You may be able to measure the outside of the home, and subtract a few square feet for walls and come up with a rough square footage of the attic. Most bags of cellulose insulation will show coverage in square feet to a certain R value. The number of bags needed will depend on the R value you wish to add to your attic. Find a home improvement store in your area that will provide a free cellulose insulation blower to customers who buy a certain number of bales of insulation. Normally you must buy ten or more bales to get a free 24 hour rental of a blower. Have the insulation delivered if you don't have a pickup truck. Stores like Home Depot rent trucks by the hour and this can save on delivery fees.
Applying blow-in cellulose insulation is definitely a two person job. One person is stationed up in the attic to blow the insulation evenly throughout the area, and another person feeds bales of cellulose insulation into the hopper. The person in the attic should wear a full face respirator and goggles, as well as long sleeve shirt and gloves. It is a job that should be done before the hot days of summer arrive, since attic temperatures can reach over 130 degrees. The person operating the hopper should also wear protective gear and be cautious of the rotating blades at the base of the hopper. Good communication is important. If the two team members cannot see each other, a third person might be needed to relay orders from the attic to stop the blower or add more insulation to the hopper.
Adding cellulose insulation can be done by persons with average handyman skills. Check with Http://www.energystar.gov for information on rebates.
For tips on how to cool down a hot attic with solar attic vents see Savegreenly.com
Adding cellulose insulation can offer a very high return on investment over the years and is an easy weekend project.