Before you Air Seal and Insulate your attic be sure to…
Air sealing and insulating your attic is very likely to be the easiest way to help you have a more comfortable home and save you more money than you invested. Before you shell out some hard-earned dollars for the betterment of your life please consider the following.
What other home projects can be included at the time? Once new insulation is in your attic it is best not to disturb it, as it may reduce its performance. So, if you’ve always wanted to add wiring for a light fixture or need to add a whole house fan or sky lights, be sure to have that done at the same time.
Does your home need to be re-wired? If you’ve got old knob and tube wiring in the attic, the time to get it out is the same time you re-work your attic for performance and comfort. It will add cost to the overall project, but addressing after the fact will only increase overall cost.
To vacuum or not to vacuum? Some companies consider it best practice to vacuum out all the existing insulation to have better access for air sealing and to ensure there is only healthy insulation upon completion. Another option is to simply sweep the existing insulation aside, air seal the exposed area, and repeat. Either way, the emphasis is on reducing leakage through air sealing as a percentage. My common-sense-ometer says vacuuming makes it easier for air sealing to be more effective, but it does come at a slightly higher cost. The question is whether the extra investment is needed to ensure a successful update.
Just think through your short and long term goals for the home and do your best to accomplish as much as possible while you’re in motion. Keep your goals in the forefront of each decision and that will help your team build a success that is also on budget!James Mitchell Energy Efficiency, Green Education, News