If you want to save money on your energy bill the first place to start is your attic. Insufficient insulation
in your attic will cause a large part of your home’s temperature-controlled air to escape. As a single mom and a new homeowner, I wanted to reduce my monthly energy costs, but I needed to do it inexpensively, too. Instead of hiring a contractor to install insulation in my attic, I decided to see if I could do it myself. I made a trip to my local Home Depot and, after talking with a Home Depot employee who was well-versed in insulation installation, I decided to try GreenFiber natural fiber blow-in insulation.
Before going to purchase your materials, measure your attic and take the figures with you. Workers at your local Home Depot or other home improvement store can help you choose your insulation and figure out how much you need. For my small attic, I needed eight to ten bags of GreenFiber blow-in insulation. Because Home Depot provided a free insulation blower with the purchase of ten bags, I bought ten. The insulation was $8.77 per bag, with the square footage varying depending on how thick the insulation is installed. The thicker you install the insulation, the higher the R-value or protection against the cold of winter and the heat of summer.
In addition to the insulation and blower, you should purchase a ventilation mask and goggles. Though the natural cellulose fibers contained in GreenFiber insulation are safe, the installation process creates a lot of dust and particles flying around in the air. You will need a truck or SUV to get the blower home and at least two strong people to get it out. The blower should include two fifty-foot hoses that you can connect to reach up into your attic. Since the blower operates off of electricity, you may need an extension cord. The blower will stay outside on a flat, secure surface as the GreenFiber insulation is being blow into your attic.
GreenFiber natural fiber insulation is made of recycled newspapers, plastic grocery bags, and other materials. We even found a piece of a nylon stocking inside one of the bags. All of the material has been treated to make it fireproof and resistant to bugs and rodents. To start the process of installing the insulation in your attic, you need to attach the hose(s) to the machine. You will need a flat head screwdriver to loosen and tighten the clamp in order to attach the hose. Next, you should take the end of the hose up into the attic to prepare for the installation process.
When you’re ready to begin, you should first be sure there are no foreign objects inside the hopper of the blowing machine. The machine itself is safe and easy to operate. A grate is in place above the blowing mechanism to prevent hands and other foreign objects from falling into and getting caught inside the machine. One person will need to stand outside feeding GreenFiber insulation material into the machine while another is inside the attic blowing the insulation into the attic. It helps to have a person standing somewhere in between for communication. Though the process is quiet inside the attic, the blowing machine is somewhat loud and you may need someone to pass along instructions to the person standing by the machine outside.
You should start by opening a bag and breaking it up into the hopper of the blowing machine. It helps to have an ice pick or some other type of tool to crumble the compressed material. Once you have some of the material in the machine, slide the hopper door open about half way and turn the machine on. As soon as the machine is on, the person in the attic should be prepared to begin spraying the insulation material starting at a far corner of the attic. If the material is coming out too fast, the person loading the machine can close the hopper a bit more, or open it if it is moving too slowly.
Apply GreenFiber insulation evenly throughout your attic at the predetermined depth necessary to achieve the R-value that you are seeking. GreenFiber can be installed over previously installed fiberglass or natural fiber insulation. After completion, remove the hoses from the machine, return it to the store, then sit back, enjoy a comfortable environment and prepare for lower energy bills.
As a single mom, saving money is a top priority. I wasn’t sure that I could tackle the job of installing my own insulation in my attic, but after talking it over with employees at the Home Depot, I discovered how easy it actually was. After this experience, I would certainly try it again at any time. If I can do it, you can too, while saving hundreds of dollars in the process!