Read this before you start
Have you ever felt cold in your older home, even with the heat cranked? Ever feel drafts that seem to come from nowhere? And conversely, in the summer, is your home an oven? Many older houses are improperly insulated, if there is any insulation at all. This can have a large impact on your heating and cooling bills. Loose-fill insulation can be blown into your walls and attic to help increase the efficiency of your house, significantly decreasing your heating and cooling expenses.
Cellulose insulation is relatively inexpensive and easy to install. Most of the places that sell loose-fill insulation will lend you a blower for the weekend if you buy a minimum quantity of insulation. You may also need to recruit a few helpers for this project. You will need 1 person to blow the insulation into the walls and at least 1 other person to operate the machine - turning it off and on and filling it with insulation.
The most difficult part of this project is figuring out where to drill access holes into your walls. First you need to determine what will be the easiest surface to repair once the insulation is blown in. If your siding can be easily removed and replaced, you might consider removing a row of siding and blowing in the insulation from the outside of the house. Otherwise, you will need to drill holes inside your house near the ceiling of each level of you house and blow in the insulation from the interior. This tutorial will demonstrate how to blow in insulation from the interior of you house. If you choose to remove a course of siding and blow the insulation in from the exterior, the principles are pretty much the same, but you will obviously patch exterior holes differently than interior holes.
Skill Level & Time
• Beginner - 4 to 5 days
• Intermediate - 3 to 4 days
• Advanced - 2 to 3 days
When drilling into walls, make sure to avoid wiring and plumbing. Plumbing can be found in bathroom and kitchen walls. Wiring generally runs parallel to the floor about 10 to 20 inches above the floor.
Avoid using blown-in insulation near chimneys and other heat producing objects.
When insulating in an attic, make sure to use baffles to keep insulation from blocking airflow along your roof sheeting.
Before leaving the store with the insulation blower, make sure you understand how it is used and that you have all of the parts you will need.
Generally insulation requires a vapor barrier to prevent mildew and peeling paint on the interior walls. Blown-in insulation does not provide such a barrier, but is usually not a problem. If you notice paint problems after you insulate, use an interior paint that provides moisture protection.
Leave the blower machine outside of the house and run the hose through a door or window. This will prevent excess dust in your house.