Prices vary, you talking cellulose or fiberglass? Here is a handy web site for cellulose. http://www.homewyse.com/services/cost_to_install_blown-in_cellulose_insulation.html
But before you do any additional insulation, regardless of type. You need to understand how this product works and exactly were your energy is being wasted.
Air flow in and out of the house is really critical in proper home performance. To much and all the insulation you install can take years upon years to pay for it self. Not enough air, and the house can become sick, generate mold, and end up getting you sick.
Questions you must ask the contractor, is how are they air sealing the attic? Are the electrical spice boxes properly marked for location and sealed. Are all spices covered in boxes? Are my ceiling light cans rated to be covered by insulation? How are they going to seal around the chimney to prevent insulation from falling down towards the basement? What are they going to do about the soffit vents? how are they going to prevent the insulation from falling into the soffit areas? Do you have enough ventilation to begin with? Is there mechanical equipment located in the attic? If so, how are you going to access this in the future? What are you expected to see as rate of return on energy savings? What are they going to do if you do not see those savings? How are they going to seal the attic access off once the attic is insulated? What about storage in the future?
Your insulation contractor should be able to answer all of these questions for you.
What people do not understand, is that air sealing will provide you with the largest about of savings per dollar spent. But it needs to be done correctly. If not you risk poor health both for your house and you.
Think of air sealing like a wind breaker you wear in the fall and winter. You are wearing a sweater and your quite warm, that is until it becomes breezy out. When that happens the air pulls the heat out of the sweater making you feel cold. put on a wind breaker over the sweater and you feel warm again. It is that simple. Air sealing is like putting on that wind breaker. Stops the air flow from pulling out the heat out of the insulation. But also think of how you feel on those days when your comfortable and you put on that wind breaker. You begin to sweat and feel over heated. So much so you begin to create moisture on the inside of the jacket. But if you open the front up, you then again feel comfortable once again. having found that right mix of warmth and ventilation. All of this is pretty much how a house insulation and ventilation system works. Its finding that right mix of insulation as well as ventilation. But if you think about it, even if you do not wear that sweater, and just put on the wind breaker, you will feel warm until it is really cold out. Well doing proper air sealing is just the same. If you air seal properly first, you will not need more then what your area requires in the form of thickness of insulation to benefit from its energy saving ability. But if you do not air seal, you will need more insulation in the attic to overcome its heat loss due to the air pulling the heat out of it.
This is why spray foam is just a great product. It air seals while it insulates. Standard cellulose or fiberglass insulation does not air seal, This is an extra step that most insulation contractors do not do. It requires them to pull out the old stuff to uncover the top plates in the attic and to caulk, or foam over every hole, gap and space that they can find. All of this takes lots of time and energy, And these guys make money on square foot of insulation applied, not fixing air leaks.
If you go into your attic you can prove to yourself that air sealing is needed. lift up insulation in various locations within the space. Check over walls that are located below. Do you see that dark staining between the layers of insulation? This is dust and mold spores being trapped in the filtering ability that the insulation provides. This dust comes from mostly the basement, and rooms through leakage. As tiny as the hole is, a lot of air moves through it. And this air does not stop even with 30 inches of insulation placed on top. And with all that air not only does it pull dust and mold with it, it pulls moisture, which is why the house is always dry, and heat, which is why the rooms cool down so quickly when the heat is turned off.
Ideally before you even spend a dime on doing insulation in the house. Find a BPI accredited contractor and ask them to do a blower door evaluation on your home to identify where and how your home is loosing energy. He or she can determine what you need to do not only to save money and increase your homes comfort level, but to guide you in what you should do first to get the largest payback for your money spent.
I recently did a air sealing project for a client of mine. We did nothing in the attic at all. We air sealed the basement with foam between each joist, and our payback as determined by the test results will be somewhere in the area of 38% with a payback of just under three years.
Add to this post...fiberglass
I had a qoute for 55 cent a sq foot, it sounds too cheap, and it was a phone qoute
Fiberglass depending upon how deep its going to be. Will range anywhere from $.70 to $1.55 per square foot. Local areas, access, type, etc will determine cost. And you will be able to find all of these prices. in just about all areas. This issue is however dependent upon the quality of the work. If they are careful and do all the necessary things required to properly and safely install it is going to be at least the higher range. If they do not give a hoot and only want to blow and go. your going to pay less. If your a contractor, You can do this yourself and save big bucks. It is an easy job doing the actual work, It is just the prep that takes some time. Installing the baffles, protecting the light fixtures, marking the location of all the splice boxes sealing the chimney chase etc.
R30 is 55 not too cheap
if i were to blow it in myself i worked out it would cost me 48 cent a foot and whatever the rental on a blowing machine would cost
The rental of the machine would or should be free with the purchase of a set amount of insulation. It will cost you however to feed the person on the other end of the hose. As this is a two person project.
If you go the DIY route, be sure that all electrical spice boxes are covered and no electrical splices are visible. We do a few things to prep for this.
1. Check all electrical boxes. Then directly above we hang long string from rafter down to box and tie it off on them. This allows any future electrical contractor to find the box without having to dig and disturb the attic insulation all over the place.
2. We pick up the paper rulers that they sell in the insulation isle. Staple them up all over the place. This assures that when blowing the stuff that you get the correct amount in. Plan for several extra inches as well due to settlement.
3. As I stated in my first response. Be sure to air seal all the top plates, wire and pipe holes. This will assure that you get the most out of the insulation qualities of the product you use.
4. Using sheet metal. Seal off the space around the chimney if you have one. Then using insulation board, create a two inch space on all sides of the chimney in a box fashion to prevent the insulation from coming into contact with the chimney. This is very important.
5. If you have any can lights. and they are not rated for direct contact, you can either build boxes out of the foam board, leaving several inches of space on all sides and top to prevent insulation contact, or purchase the cardboard tubes for cement that will surround the fixtures, cut them off about 12 inches, notch for wires and place them down and around each fixture. Use spray foam in a can to seal the openings of both the tubes or the boards and to glue them down so they do not move.
6. Using the foam boards also construct a dam around the attic access opening. You want to fill right up to the opening and this will prevent it from falling down in your face when you access the attic in the future.
7, Ideally you should keep the machine outside and run the hose into the window and up into the attic. Two way radios will allow you to speak to the person controlling the flow and on and off of the machine. Some have remote shut offs at the hose, but most do not. If you cannot make the attic from the outside, and need to bring the machine in, be sure to cover the entire room with plastic, walls, furniture and floor in a cocoon fashion. This stuff is dusty, and a pain to clean up. By sealing the room, your clean up time will be shortened quite bit, Much more so then the time it took to seal it up.
my worry is the 55 cent phone price is bate and switch, when he gets to the house and my wife is there he will find lots of add ons
Totally agree. You need to get into the attic and check around for issues. wires, gaps etc. Get the entire insulation process that they are doing in writing. It should include all baffles, light fixture protection, chimney gap sealing and baffle to prevent the insulation from touching it. Build up of foam wall around access hatch, seal around the access hatch and set number of inches of insulation to achieve the desired R value. This should include extra amounts to make up for settlement.
Other then that, there should be no surprises.
I would ask them about air sealing however. This is important as you can see from my past responses and they should be able to provide you with a price to do that sealing prior to doing the job. That would be the only thing I would think of that they could come back and say, you should do this.
If they do not come out to the house and measure, they will change the price once they get there. They need to see the attic, access, height, ventilation etc. The price quote they are currently providing does not take into account for anything else.
This is a very common sales ploy. I see this all the time at the big box stores. They sell a tile install job as an example per square foot. then once in the house, they charge and add for everything else. Sub floor, prep, trim, paint, removal etc.
Our manufactured home is 20 yrs old and we can tell the space between the roof and ceiling is needing new insulation. So does the entire south facing wall. The roof and south wall get full sun all day. When I stand up lately, I can feel the warmth within 2-3 feet from the inside ceiling. I was thinking spray in. Thing is we have no attic or any access. Can this stuff be sprayed in through holes we've created and will it work? Do we have to worry about electrical or the fireplace since they were already there and the insulation just appears to have aged. Would it be best to remove the drywall on the south wall and just put rolled insulation and wait until we put on a new roof to do the space above the ceiling with spray or rolls? Thanks in advance!