How to Replace Attic Insulation

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High heating and cooling bills may not be caused solely by an inefficient furnace or air conditioner. This could be traced to a lack of insulation, improper installation of insulation, or insulation that has been corrupted due to age or leaking. Replacing attic insulation can be dangerous unless precautions are taken, but in most cases it's not overwhelming to the average homeowner.

Things You'll Need

  • Mask Gloves Goggles Trash bags Caulking gun Caulk Insulation Vapor area rolls Stapler

Replacing Attic Insulation

  • Remove the current insulation and properly dispose of it. Make sure to wear protective gloves, goggles and a mask. Place the insulation into plastic bags and tie it before removing it from the attic to make sure no particles can escape to later be breathed into your lungs.

  • Check for gaps around wires, and caulk them to avoid drafts and offer protection against animals and insects. Make sure you have chosen a faced insulation that goes against the attic floor, or install a vapor barrier that is simply rolls of plastic. Place the vapor area between joists and staple at the end of the plastic to more thoroughly tack it.

  • Choose fiberglass batts. They can simply be unrolled directly into place as long as they are not packed overly tight, since it is essential for insulation purposes that air be able to pocket between the layers. Fiberglass batts are more manageable to handle than other types of insulation and in many cases are cheaper.

  • Measure the space between the joists in order to but the correct fiberglass batt width. Accurate measurement beforehand will reduce the necessity for cutting the batts so that they fit properly between the joists. The batts should be carried intact in their rolls up to the attic; do not open them downstairs because they are much easier to handle when compressed tightly into rolls.

  • Work from the walls toward the center of the attic as you begin laying the insulation. In addition, begin working as far away from the exit as possible to avoid trapping yourself. Set the batts in place and unroll them between the joists. Work them into place by pressing on them, but avoid doing so too tightly. By working from the walls toward the center, you should have the benefit of needing to cut and measure where you've got the most headroom.

Tips & Warnings

  • When you have two cut batts that need to be joined, make sure to place them as tightly up against each other possible, making sure there is no space between them. When placing insulation over a layer of batts that fill the joists, place the new batt down so that it is perpendicular to the existing batts.

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