The upstairs of our house has always been terribly hot and a quick peek inside our upper attic explained why. It barely had any insulation... and between some rafters... it didn't have any at all! After getting a few astronomical quotes, we decided to tackle the project ourselves. Of course, Joe decided this on the hottest day of the year. Fun!
When you buy the eco-friendly cellulose fiber blow-in insulation from Home Depot, they loan you the blower. I AM WARNING YOU NOW. WALK AWAY FROM THE BLOWER!!
Unfortunately we didn't do that.
Now may be the time to remind you that it was noon... on the hottest day of the year. After lugging the machine up to our lower roof and setting everything up, we spent hours upon hours upon hours battling the damn thing. No matter what we tried, it just wouldn't blow out fast enough.
So we gave up, returned it to Home Depot and got a new one. With high hopes, we lugged the machine BACK up to our lower roof, set everything BACK up and spent even longer battling the damn thing. No matter what we tried, it still wouldn't blow out fast enough.
In an effort to save our sanity and marriage, we quit.
A few weekends later with cooler weather and calmer nerves, we rented a professional unit from Sunbelt. It's called the Meyer Model 220 and it's MAGIC! It's AMAZING! It's INCREDIBLE! It was strong enough to use on the ground, it was easier to operate, and in 2 hours, we blew roughly 35 bags of insulation into the attic. It took 2 days to blow in just 5 bags with the horrible Home Depot blowers!!!
Our upstairs is now cool, comfortable and more importantly, our marriage is still intact.
So, if you'd like to try it yourself (which I highly recommend), here are a few tips...
- Make sure your hoses are clamped nice and tight.
- Give the machine some time to warm up and only start with a handful of insulation.
- Don't overfill the machine. One bag at a time.
- Break up the insulation a bit as you fill the machine.
- Wear goggles and a mask! If you're in the attic, wear a full respirator.
- Avoid any sharp turns in the hose.
- Fill to at least the top of the rafters, but feel free to add more.
- Buy more insulation than you think you'll need. It'll save you a trip to the store if you run out.
- Start early and pick a cool day.
- Lay a piece of wood across the rafters to lay on.
- Wear a headlamp to see what you're doing.