How Can Insulation Help Cut my Natural Gas Costs?
Natural gas costs in Georgia have fallen slightly after a rocky summer. But with rates still a darn sight pricier than this time last year, and a recession looming, there’s one major trick that many Georgia energy shoppers are missing. Attic insulation! Yes, yes… yawn! Ouch! And huh?! But here’s why (and how) attic insulation is the turbo-power savings-supplier that will help keep your home energy bill cheap this winter…
What Kind of Home Insulation Do I Need?
Georgia residents want their attic insulation to fall somewhere between the R30-R60 mark. But which insulation you choose will depend on how you want to balance cost and effectiveness. So here’s a basic breakdown for the pros and cons of the main attic insulation contenders…
|Fibreglass batts/rolls – a common solution. Use ‘unfaced’ rolls so you don’t trap moisture!||Premeasured rolls are super convenient to install.||Fibreglass is prickly and unpleasant. An N95 mask is recommended when installing!||R13 if it’s 3.5 inches thick; R30 is it’s 12 inches thick.|
|Cellulose – either blown in, or emptied over the floor and raked evenly by hand.||Lightweight and easy to DIY. Plus, the cheapest!||Messy to lay down the loose material. And, because it settles over time, you’ll need to layer on a new batch every so often.||About R3.5 per inch.|
|Loose fill fibreglass – like cellulose, can be blown or raked.||Doesn’t settle like cellulose does.||Again, pretty messy. And again, pretty prickly.||R30 if it’s 8 inches thick, R50 if it’s 12 inches.|
|Rockwool||Rolls make for easy installation||Gets expensive!||R3 per inch of thickness.|
|Spray Foam||Let’s just say, see cons…||Costly, best used for walls. Any errant roof leaks will pool in your attic – and could eventually lead to a collapse.||Between 3 and 6.5 per inch depending the type.|
Calculating my DIY Insulation Costs
Let’s say you’ve got an average 2,000 sq ft home, with a 40ft x 50ft attic floor area. Then, let’s say you’ve already got 3 ½ inches of cellulose in your attic. Not bad but not great. That gives you just over R12 (3.5 inches at approx R3.5 per inch) to start with, and a nice, level, 40ft x 50ft surface to work with.
That means you’ll need to layer up at least an extra R18 to hit that R30 mark. Let’s look at how you might do that using two popular insulation choices: fibreglass rolls and blown cellulose.
|Fibreglass rolls||Blown cellulose|
|Most cost-effective option from Lowe’s||This $42 roll covers about 50 square foot, adding R19.||This $17 bag covers nearly 50 sq ft, adding R19|
|Cost to cover the 40 x 50 attic space||Number of rolls required = 2,000sq ft / 50 sq ft = 40 rolls required. |
Cost = 40 x $50 = $2,000
|Number of bags required = 2,000sq ft / 50 sq ft = 40 bags required. |
Cost of renting a blower: Free for 24 hours, if you’re buying 20+ bags (so you can get 48 hours free, if you work in 20-bag batches!)
Cost = 40 x $17 = $680
You’ll see that the cellulose cashes out a whole lot cheaper – but remember, it gets messy to lay down! And you’ll need to check in every few months to see if it needs replenishing.
Cut Natural Gas Costs Today with Easy Attic Insulation!
So remember folks: short term attic-insulation pain will lead to immediate and lasting energy-savings gain. So roll up your sleeves and get insulating to cut down on those winter natural gas costs in Georgia. And stick with www.GeorgiaGasSavings.com for more energy-saving tips this winter!