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Home Insulation Tools and Tips

Home Insulation Tools and Tips

Preparing your home for winter may mean different things for different folks. For some it means simply making sure that storm windows are in place or calling the HVAC company for an inspection. For others, the preparation may be more complex with the home weather-stripped and insulated to offer maximum protection throughout the cold, snowy months.

Basic Tools - You likely own a number of tools that you will need to insulate your home with batt or strip insulation. Start off with a pair of safety glasses to protect your eyes, work gloves to protect your hands and a dust mask to avoid breathing in insulation. From there, you will need a hand saw, a hand stapler, a keyhole saw, a utility knife and a pry bar.

If you are installing new, loose insulation you can rent a machine and rake at a rental store or home center. This job can be done quickly; rent it for just one day.

Fiberglass Insulation- What level of insulation should you have in your wood-framed home? Thatís something that is measured by R-Value, or insulationís ability to resist heat traveling through it. To find out what you need, the U.S. Department of Energy offers guidelines that can help you determine the right level of insulation for your home.

For instance, if you live in Zone 1, the insulation table shows that an uninsulated attic should get R30 to R49 insulation. Zone 1 includes Hawaii, Guam Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and a thin slice of Florida. Zones 2 & 3 should have R30 to R60 insulation, Zone 4 R38 to R60 and Zones 5 through 8 R49 to R60. Each state, district or territory is covered with counties, parishes and boroughs clearly marked to reflect the recommended zone. Energy Star also offers separate insulation recommendations for homes with an existing 3 to 4 inch thickness of attic insulation and for flooring.

Insulation Types- You have two options for installing insulation blown versus batt. The former uses the aforementioned equipment outlined; the latter requires much patience on your part as you carefully lay down each row of insulation. Blown insulation can be put in place quickly.

Is installing new insulation worth it? It can be especially, if your current insulation is not adequate and you live in a colder climate. After your initial outlay, your insulation project will pay immediate dividends and continue to save you money on your energy costs for years to come.