Find out why cellulose insulation is a recycled, green option for keeping the cold out of your house. Get tips on DIY installation and find out how to deal with exterior siding.
LESLIE: Well, this is a perfect time of year to assess your home’s insulation and determine whether more is needed. You’ll know if you’re freezing, right? (Tom and Leslie chuckle)
TOM: Well, you can certainly use the batt-type insulation but there is another option and here to tell us about it is This Old House host Kevin O’Connor and Tom Silva, the show’s general contractor.
Welcome, guys. And Kevin, cellulose is a pretty green option, too.
KEVIN: Yeah, that’s right. Cellulose insulation is actually a very green product. Not only does it help save energy but it’s also made from recycled newsprint and other paper that might otherwise end up in a landfill. And Tommy, because it’s loose insulation, it’s also a good DIY project.
TOM SILVA: Absolutely, Kevin. Almost anybody can do it. If you’re handy around the house, you like to work and you like to get a little dirty, you can do it. But you can blow it in your attic. Blow it extra thick because it will settle down. You can rent a machine at the home center and buy the cellulose there also.
But if you want to blow it in your wall cavities, you can do that, too. You want to put two holes in every stud bay; do it from the outside. Depends on what kind of siding you have; you have wood shingles, wood clapboards, vinyl or aluminum. I think the aluminum is probably the most difficult to deal with because it dents; so getting it off is easy but putting it back on is hard. You want to make sure you blow it twice in every bay, as I said, to dense pack it and it’ll really make a big difference in your house.
KEVIN: And if we’re putting it up in the attic – let’s say you’re still using that attic for storage – are there ways to work around it?
TOM SILVA: Yeah, you can do the section of the attic that doesn’t have floorboards on it that you are basically storing stuff on. Remove the floorboards, put a rigid foam insulation on top of the floorboards and then cover that with a thin layer of plywood and store on top of that.
KEVIN: Alright, well if you need more information you can watch a video on how to install cellulose insulation, on ThisOldHouse.com.
TOM: So a drafty attic, a good thing; drafty house, not so much.
Tom Silva, Kevin O’Connor, thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit.
KEVIN: Good to be here.
LESLIE: And you know, that’s a great project. It’s not too difficult to do yourself and it’s one that you will definitely see results from in your home’s comfort level and your energy bills.
TOM: For more great ideas on fixing up your home, be sure to watch Kevin and Tommy on This Old House which is brought to you by their proud sponsor, GMC. GMC – we are professional-grade.
As the cameras roll for the final day of production, Tom and Leslie are on-site with the entire This Old House team to catch history in the making as another project completes. Listen to the latest “Live from This Old House” broadcasts of The Money Pit” as they happened right from the set!