Installing Blown-In Insulation: 3 Tips

Worker Spraying Blown Fiberglass Insulation between Attic Trusses

If you are installing insulation into your home, blown-in insulation is an excellent option that you should be aware of. Whether you are simply trying to increase your home's energy efficiency, or install entirely new insulation, loose-fill insulation can definitely do the job. It is even easy enough to work with that you can install it yourself. However, it is complicated enough that you may have trouble with it on your first try. The following tips should make it as easy as possible.

Determine the Required R-Value

R-value is a way of measuring the ability of a particular material to resist heat. While there are different ways of measuring R-value, they are always given in the amount of heat the material resists divided by the amount of material required to resist said heat.

For any given insulation job, you will require a certain amount of total R-value, from any source. You could use a large amount of low R-value material, or a small amount of high R-value material. Either type will work.

Generally speaking, if you are buying your own insulation material, it will come with self-contained instructions that are specific to your location and measuring system. To determine how much material you need, simply check its packaging and find the amount of insulation you need for your particular location and climate.

Wear Protective Clothing

When doing any kind of work on your home, wearing protective clothing is important. Installing blown-in insulation is no exception to this rule. If you are installing blown insulation, there are many pieces of protective clothing you will have to wear in order to ensure your safety. It is particularly important to wear a respirator, as you will be unable to avoid breathing dust and insulation materials if you do not. You should also wear safety goggles, gloves, long pants, and long sleeves.

Measure and Place Holes Correctly

In order to successfully install blown-in insulation, you will need to cut a hole in your outer or inner wall, depending on your particular plan. This step must be done very precisely, as there are many things that can go wrong with it.

First, you will need to know about the specific insulation blower that you will be using. In particular, you will need to know the width of its nozzle. Try to find this out in advance, but if you cannot, it is fine to simply wait until you have access to it and measure the nozzle with a tape measure to determine its width.

Now that you know how wide your blower's nozzle is, you know how wide to make your holes. Your holes must be slightly larger than your blower's nozzle, but with as small of a difference as possible, as a large empty space can send insulation materials everywhere when you want them to fall neatly into your wall. When installing your insulation, cover the gap with a rag.

In addition, place the holes as high as possible to avoid blocking the nozzle as the material falls.