Attic Door Insulation – Big Time Energy Saving

July 1, 2012 · Posted in Family · Comment 

Attic door insulation, a most neglected part when it comes to insulation is one of the best methods to conserve energy. Attic doors or hatch is the opening through which homeowners access their attics, but these are energy sinks. The gaps present around the doorways that are usually left uninsulated is like an window left open in a room where the air-conditioning is on. It is as bad as having a window wide open.

Energy Wasted

As experts like to point out attic door insulation helps plug the energy leak that is going on silently but steadily as your heaters and air-conditioners work overtime to compensate for this loss. So, having proper insulation is a must to minimize the loss of energy in summer and winter. Air sealing and insulating are two tasks that the entrance to your attic absolutely needs and this will save you a lot on your energy bills. Small gaps that are just one fourth of an inch wide are enough to leak out all the heat from room. It is criminal waste of energy. There are a number of options which can be explored to cover the attic entrance without compromising on easy access.

Most homeowners do not even think that attic door insulation is significant unless the energy loss is pointed out to them. Even the smallest of gaps needs to be plugged and energy conserved. Every effort to make the attic door or hatch or pulldown stairs as insulated as possible is a must.

Keeping The Attic Access Away

New home construction offers options of keeping the attic access away from the main portions of the home, such as attic access through the garage. In such areas there is no energy loss of your heating and air-conditioning to your main living areas.

Hatch Or Scuttle Door Insulation

A common location of scuttle doors or hatches is a ceiling hole right in the middle of a hallway. Unfortunately, although it provides easy access to pull down necessary items, it is also right in the middle of all heating and cooling ducts in a home. Usually they are covered by a lightweight removable section of plywood, but that doorway if not properly insulated, can leak all the energy out your roof. Air sealers or rubber gaskets can help tightly seal the access point and prevent air leaks. A tight fitting bolt and latch system ensures you have a tightly sealed doorway.

Once the hatch is air sealed, it is time to add attic door insulation to the top side of the hatch. Usually some sort of rigid insulation is used. Leave a small clearance of 1/4th of an inch all around to help in the opening of the hatch door. It is recommended to apply around 3-4 inches deep insulation on the attic door with strong adhesives used in construction and screws to keep the whole thing in place. To make it extra secure for insulation stick some batt insulation using the Kraft-paper side to the top of rigid insulation. If you have reached the recommended R-value for your door with these measures then that should be fine.

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Attic Insulation Calculator – Cost Estimates Made Easy

June 30, 2012 · Posted in Family · Comment 

Computing the cost of insulating your home is made easy using an Attic Insulation Calculator. Blown in attic insulation averages around $0.60 per square foot. Labor, material costs and the nature of your attic determine the complexity of your insulation job which may make that average cost go up or down.

An attic insulation calculator can help you get reasonably accurate approximations for how much the overall expense of such a project will be. The online calculator typically has slots for data input where you type in the zip code, square feet of attic area and then click a button to arrive at your estimate.

The attic insulation calculator works on a basic framework of numbers based on average material costs and average labor expenses categorized by zip code. With a variation of 10% higher or lower than most quotes you’ll get from a contractor, an attic insulation calculator is a useful tool while working out budget estimates for your building.

So how does an attic insulation calculator work?

There are some data elements about your building that need to be provided for the calculator script to do its magic. The first is the area of your attic that needs to be insulated. Depending upon the type of insulation you plan to install, this will be the floor or roof space that will be measured. Another data point required is the geographical locale where the building is sited. This is because regional rates vary and that applies to material and labor charges. Some attic insulation calculator scripts even break down by zone, and this is based on local climate and weather conditions.

Here’s how the calculator script presents you with the details you require. Information about average rates and costs across the country are stored in a database. The estimated cost determined using an attic insulation calculator will be reasonably correct to give you a fair picture, barring any special needs such as insulating recessed lights or fixing multiple cracks and leaks in the attic. The result is a rule of thumb approximation of the information you need to make a reasonable estimate.

But it is also important to understand what costs will be covered in this estimate. Typically an attic insulation calculator will present you with the expenses involved in ordering, buying and having materials delivered. This will include any storage costs involved. The quality of materials that you select and the preference of any specific brand over others will impact this a bit. The automated calculator works on the basis of “building grade” materials which are adequate for most needs.

You can cost out premium materials at fractionally higher multiples. The estimate includes expenses involved with preparing the attic for insulation. If your attic has special requirements, you will need to pay a bit more to have them insulated.

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Things You Want To Know About Types of Attic Insulation

June 28, 2012 · Posted in Family · Comment 

There are many different types of attic insulation and many people want to know about it. While this report will be about the types of attic insulation, it must be remembered that insulation for roofs, floors and walls is essentially the same. Only 3 of the many insulation types are relevant even though there are many other materials and styles being adopted for attic insulation. We’ll discuss these major types of attic insulation and try to decide which is best.

Every time you look at a particular type of insulation, there will be different questions that you would want to ask. Such as, is this the best type of insulation, will I need to get it installed by a qualified person or can I do it by myself? What sort of budget is needed and how well does it fit my needs? These questions will be answered for the 3 normal forms of insulation for the attic.

Batts Insulation for Attics – Batt insulation comes in bigger pieces that are made of interweaving fibers. These fibers adhere to each other and are long enough to be entwined securely. There are fiberglass and cotton batt insulation materials, which have nearly the same efficiency.

Batt insulation provides good insulation except that it does not fill spaces well enough. When this happens, the gaps and crevices that are not filled by insulation will get air circulating through which results in heat loss. This then gives the opposite effect which means cooling the building in winter and heating it in summer. Therefore, this is a bad point against batt insulation.

The primary reason for this is the difficulty in installing batt insulation to fit into every niche and corner of the attic. Invariably there are spaces beneath and in between ceiling joists which are unsealed when batt isn’t cut properly. Insulating the spaces around wires, exhaust fans and recessed lighting is also difficult.

Blown insulation for attics is another of the three popular types of attic insulation. The insulating material is smaller than batts, and using specialized blowers these are distributed throughout the attic with a fire-hose like device. An insulation machine mixes up the chunks, generating air under pressure to distribute the material evenly inside the attic.

Blown attic insulation made of cellulose or fiberglass provides very good insulating capacity and both have comparable R values when installed at depths of 3 inches or above. Cellulose is made from recycled newspaper and is a better green solution. Fiberglass is derived from sand. Both are more effective than batt insulation.

One of the significant advantages of blown in over other types of attic insulation is that it fills the attic up without leaving behind any cracks of crevices. Rarely if ever will you be able to look down into the ceiling drywall. This provides an excellent and complete layer of insulation which serves well in reducing heat loss and keeping the energy costs of your building down.

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Attic Insulation R Value: Important To Achieve Better Energy Efficiency

April 8, 2012 · Posted in Family · Comment 

The attic insulation r value is a measure of the amount of insulation needed in the attics and is important point to consider when aiming for the required insulation level. Every state and local area has different requirements as far insulation levels are concerned and this are listed out in the Department of Energy website of the US government. This helps homeowners and builders to put in the optimum insulation for the Zip Code. Consulting the website gives a clear idea about the insulation levels to aim for.

With this information in hand it is quite easy to know how much material to buy and what materials will give the required insulation values. Attic insulation r value is not a interesting subject or anything. Nor is insulation an attractive part of the home. What it does is save a ton of energy and money for the homeowner. They serve a great purpose and that is the most interesting part of insulation.

Insulation keeps the cold air from air conditioning or heat from the heating inside the house. When done right and according to prescribed methods insulation can save homeowners around 40 percent of their energy costs. This also helps the heater and air conditioner indirectly as they don’t have to work as hard.

The home loses energy through walls, door ways, windows, floors, roof and any other openings. Insulating every part of the home saves energy. Most homes today are constructed with insulation except some parts like the attics. Installing attic insulation r-value according to the prescribed norms will keep the energy loss to a minimum.

The attic insulation r value should be high enough to prevent the insulating material from stopping heat flow. Higher R-values are better at insulating. Minimum requirements of r-value depends on where you live. Most areas in the country need R-value of R-38 which is around 10-14 inches of insulation. The higher r-value insulation need to added to lesser depth than lower r-value which need to filled to a greater depth in the attics. If you live in really cold regions then higher r-values are better.

If you already have attic insulation than moving to a higher level of insulation will result in better savings. Getting this done professionally will cost around 80 cents to a dollar for every square foot covered. The prices of attic insulation depends on r-value. Higher insulating values moves energy conservation up the value chain. It is recommended to install higher-r-value products for colder regions.

What’s also essential is to include attic insulation which covers all elements of the roof like rafters and joists. Air seals and rubber gaskets that fit tightly around leaky areas will help avoid heat escaping from the rooms and attic. After sealing off the attic adequately, the desired attic insulation R value can be reached more easily through the addition of a foam box or tent. This makes a zone of dead air over the attic stairs and helps conserve heat in the living area beneath.

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