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Old 03-25-2019, 05:04 PM   #16
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Re: Attic insulation, Mass Save recommendations


oops made a mistake and no delete option.

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Old 03-25-2019, 05:06 PM   #17
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Re: Attic insulation, Mass Save recommendations


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Originally Posted by stick\shift View Post
I'm sorry but it doesn't sound like you understand attic insulation and ventilation. I would suggest looking back at Bud's posts and following some of the links he posted to learn more. While I agree it sounds like you need more insulation, it's not the fault of the ridge vent.


You got that right! 60+ y o female trying to figure out this stuff is tough.

I do not have any ice dams ever, and no condensation on the inside, ever. My folks built this house before I was born, never had any issues.

Oh and those white pines in the pic? Never had any branches hit the house in over 60 years, until last year. LOL all happens on my watch!
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Old 03-25-2019, 05:15 PM   #18
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Re: Attic insulation, Mass Save recommendations


OK so, the ridge vent was ok, per you folks. And that is why I come on this forum, to hear from you folks, esp. when multiples agree that means a lot to me.



And now the air sealing in the attic, by lifting the batts, plus sealing the attic access doorway, are all good ideas.


The raised walkway, is that just something to make it easy to move around up there or is that related to insulating the home as well? Since the attic is not used, I'm only interested in lowering heating costs for now. I still don't see installing that raised walkway as anything but huge labor costs at this time. Every bit of material has to come in through the living room, up the ladder in the stairwell and then work with it up in the attic. I'm not sure I understand if it does anything re insulating as well?



And I just bet Mass Save won't want to do that work. Not sure I'm up to finding a contractor for that at this time. But still learning what I need to do.
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Old 03-25-2019, 05:55 PM   #19
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Re: Attic insulation, Mass Save recommendations


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Originally Posted by Freedomsand View Post
OK so, the ridge vent was ok, per you folks. And that is why I come on this forum, to hear from you folks, esp. when multiples agree that means a lot to me.



And now the air sealing in the attic, by lifting the batts, plus sealing the attic access doorway, are all good ideas.


The raised walkway, is that just something to make it easy to move around up there or is that related to insulating the home as well? Since the attic is not used, I'm only interested in lowering heating costs for now. I still don't see installing that raised walkway as anything but huge labor costs at this time. Every bit of material has to come in through the living room, up the ladder in the stairwell and then work with it up in the attic. I'm not sure I understand if it does anything re insulating as well?



And I just bet Mass Save won't want to do that work. Not sure I'm up to finding a contractor for that at this time. But still learning what I need to do.
If you never go into the attic you don't need a walk way, they are never put in new houses unless there is something up that needs to be serviced.


You are doing really good, the three of us seldom agree on everything.
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Old 03-25-2019, 06:08 PM   #20
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Re: Attic insulation, Mass Save recommendations


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If you never go into the attic you don't need a walk way, they are never put in new houses unless there is something up that needs to be serviced.
Nope, never go up there.

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You are doing really good, the three of us seldom agree on everything.



(one for each of you!)
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Old 03-25-2019, 06:34 PM   #21
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Re: Attic insulation, Mass Save recommendations


Heating oil costs of $1800 seems high. I am in a different area, and use natural gas, but you heating costs seem high to me. If you called them in because you wanted to save on heating costs, then you have their proposal, but of course, you don't have to do anything.
Keep in mind that with insulation, there is diminishing returns --- the more you have, the less effect in putting in more. In my humble opinion, to bring in a crew just to add just an additional 3" is pretty much a waste of money. Note that in my area (and I am further South than you are) they put R60 into new houses. Are you sure its batts, or is it blown in ? --- blown in is not uniform -- some places its higher, some places its lower. But R38 is not bad --- don't expect to be seeing a visible decrease in your heating bill just by adding 3".
The air sealing would have some benefit, but without knowing how leaky your ceiling is, I can not comment on its benefit. You might assume that they know what to look for and have reason to believe your ceiling is leaky.
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Old 03-25-2019, 06:43 PM   #22
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Re: Attic insulation, Mass Save recommendations


I am sure it is batts, it is NOT blown in. I insisted on that last year when it was all replaced.


IMO the man did not 'know' anything, he worked off a check list. If his observation meant a check in column 1, fine. A check in column 2 meant work to be done.



He had to call in to 'his colleagues' a few times. For instance, when I insisted he roll back the batt to check the R value; he went by the visual, saw less than 6 inches when Mass Save says there has to be 12 inches, so he marked that I needed 6 inches of insulation added. When I squawked, then he had to call to learn that R38 would do fine except it is tapped down so it lost insulating value. The 3 inches is to get back up to the 12 inches they require. Yes, I know, must be the new math, less than 6 because the wood is showing, add 3, and we now have 12 inches of insulation.



I almost want to call Mass Save directly for some discussion!


Hey since WHEN is Ontario south of Mass?!!!
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Old 03-25-2019, 06:49 PM   #23
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Re: Attic insulation, Mass Save recommendations


@Freedomsand "You got that right! 60+ y o female trying to figure out this stuff is tough.

I do not have any ice dams ever, and no condensation on the inside, ever. My folks built this house before I was born, never had any issues."

That brings your process down to reducing energy costs and I can certainly understand that, 71 and aging. As for adding insulation and air sealing the value of those two improvements is tied to their cost. I did some reading on Mass Saves and apparently they have some incentives for some work. The hard part is, what would a normal price be? If you can get them to quote some prices separately, like air sealing and then insulation. I'm sure they want to bundle it all together but while they ar up there adding insulation the air sealing can be done with little extra effort.

If you can get their quotes we can judge what is reasonable.

As SPS-1 said, you don't have to do this right now, it is getting warmer. As for the air sealing a straw needs both ends open to pass your beverage. So does a house so sealing leaks around the perimeter of the basement can be beneficial (and necessary) as well.

I assume you have a basement but don't remember any mention of it. Yes/no and is there any insulation down there?

Bud
PS a good target for you would be under $800 per year.
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Old 03-25-2019, 07:07 PM   #24
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Re: Attic insulation, Mass Save recommendations


I have costs! See attached.


Last item is to seal the perimeter in the basement. There is one finished room, no access so that is not part of the measurement. For reasons I won't get into here, the cellar work has to be postponed for about a year.


The next to last item, "air sealing," I'm not sure if that is the attic or the cellar. He did say the cellar perimeter first they air seal then they apply the strips of fiberglass.


The bath fan hose, apparently they automatically put in a new hose when they are up in the attic. The bath fan does vent properly, right out the roof.


That should be "hatch" as in the entry door to the attic.


Not sure if your comment re target is for heating? Or for the work?


Also, I was doing some quick online searching re heating with oil for a home this size sq feet, seems I am in the middle of what is listed.
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Old 03-25-2019, 07:27 PM   #25
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Re: Attic insulation, Mass Save recommendations


You had talked about 12" deep and they are talking about 3" fiberglass
I don't understand total cost and customer cost.


Can we assume that you already have air chutes out to the soffit.
many different types that fit between the rafter over the outside wall
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Old 03-25-2019, 07:38 PM   #26
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Re: Attic insulation, Mass Save recommendations


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You had talked about 12" deep and they are talking about 3" fiberglass
I don't understand total cost and customer cost.

They want total insulation in attic to be 12 inches deep. I already have R38 up there, which "WOULD" be 12 inches, except that it was tapped down. So they was to add 3 inches more.


Total cost vs. Customer Cost. Mass Save is an state wide energy efficiency program. We consumers pay in to it each month with every electric bill, and gas bill (if a gas user; I am not). The program offers discounts on work, rebates to get folks to update various appliances to energy star rated appliance, and lower cost loans to do work. For my situation, all the work is done by either Mass Save or by one of its contracted vendors. I do not get to pick the contractor to do the work. Mass Save pays most of the job, I pay a small percentage. So the total cost is what the vendor calculates the job will be; I am guessing that is based on contracted rates with Mass Save. The vendor bill Mass Save the job total minus the customer cost. The customer cost is what I pay to the vendor. (Note: none of this is based on my income. There is whole other program for low income home owners who need to improve the energy efficiency of the home.)



Quote:
Can we assume that you already have air chutes out to the soffit.
many different types that fit between the rafter over the outside wall

Air chutes / baffles were discussed earlier in this thread. I have no idea if I have them or not. I know I have batts not blown in insulation. I think someone said you don't need them with batts?
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Old 03-25-2019, 07:40 PM   #27
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Re: Attic insulation, Mass Save recommendations


Mass Save program: https://www.masssave.com/


While he was here, he put in new LED bulbs in any fixtures which had old incandescent bulbs. No charge to me. Thought I had already replaced everything, but he found 3 I had missed.


He also installed 2 programmable thermostats, no charge. I only had one, for the main house. I could have had wireless thermostats installed, at a discount, but did not go that route. ( I do not own a cell phone, so it would have required me to get one.)


And low flow shower head (I already had that) and aerators also would have been installed, no charge (already have them).



I also got 2 brand new energy efficient power strips. No charge.


We can do the energy assessment every 2 years. No charge for that either.

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Old 03-25-2019, 07:46 PM   #28
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Re: Attic insulation, Mass Save recommendations


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Originally Posted by Freedomsand View Post
They want total insulation in attic to be 12 inches deep. I already have R38 up there, which "WOULD" be 12 inches, except that it was tapped down. So they was to add 3 inches more.


Total cost vs. Customer Cost. Mass Save is an state wide energy efficiency program. We consumers pay in to it each month with every electric bill, and gas bill (if a gas user; I am not). The program offers discounts on work, rebates to get folks to update various appliances to energy star rated appliance, and lower cost loans to do work. For my situation, all the work is done by either Mass Save or by one of its contracted vendors. I do not get to pick the contractor to do the work. Mass Save pays most of the job, I pay a small percentage. So the total cost is what the vendor calculates the job will be; I am guessing that is based on contracted rates with Mass Save. The vendor bill Mass Save the job total minus the customer cost. The customer cost is what I pay to the vendor. (Note: none of this is based on my income. There is whole other program for low income home owners who need to improve the energy efficiency of the home.)






Air chutes / baffles were discussed earlier in this thread. I have no idea if I have them or not. I know I have batts not blown in insulation. I think someone said you don't need them with batts?
Sounds like a good deal.


Insist on air chutes, you might have as low as 4" between the wall and the roof sheeting. It takes no effort for some one to over stuff the area and block the venting.
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Old 03-25-2019, 07:56 PM   #29
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Re: Attic insulation, Mass Save recommendations


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As SPS-1 said, you don't have to do this right now, it is getting warmer

In theory, having this work done will provide some benefit on the air conditioning costs for the Summer, right? And I sure don't want to have those fellows working in that attic in July / August!
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Old 03-25-2019, 08:59 PM   #30
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Re: Attic insulation, Mass Save recommendations


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Oil cost for calendar 2018: $1797.
That figure seems pretty high to me, but I have natural gas forced air heating so it's pretty much comparing apples to oranges. I just added my monthly 2018 natural gas costs and not counting taxes, my total cost was $867 for a tri-level home built in 1979. I've added fiberglass insulation and believe I've got about R60 or so.

I was curious how much heat was being lost in the upper attic years ago so I bought a wireless thermometer that has a battery operated sensor that you place up in the attic. I have mine mounted to one of the rafters. The base unit is mounted to the wall in a bedroom closet that has the attic access hatch (insulated and sealed of course).

Since I added more soffit vents and extra insulation over the years, the attic temperatures normally stay around 3-5 degrees above the outside air temperature. I have no issues with ice dams or condensation.
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