Monday, July 20, 2009

More than you could ever want to know...

As you know, I've been having some A/C problems. Well, not really A/C problems (at least according to the semi-incompetent A/C guy), but insulation problems. Let me tell you that I have learned more about insulation and the workings of attic ventilation that you could ever want to know. Maybe everyone else already knows this, but I knew nothing.

So the way this is all suppose to work is that you have vents all around the eaves of your house. They let in air from the outside that pushes all the hot attic air to the top and out the vents on the top of your roof. In addition, you of course have insulation that keeps all the hot (or cold depending on time of year) air from penetrating through the ceiling of your house. The amount of insulation you have determines what your "R-factor" is. The higher the "R-factor", the better. In Texas, a really good R-factor is like R-48. I had probably about a R-18 to R-22 throughout my house. This is what I've learned over the past weekend.

Jennifer and Kyle took pity on me and offered to spend their weekend making my home energy efficient. So we started out on Friday with this huge DIY project.

Jennifer and I started with unloading all the junk in the attic.
First into the house, then into the garage.
We knew that the number of vents was severely inadequate. Jennifer and I began with Step 2 of our project by pulling off all the vents. This is what we found...
The vents were the size of the paint outline there. That means the holes should have been cut WAY larger! Problem #1 spotted!

Then we looked up in the hole. Problem #2! No air is getting into the attic through that hole!

We decided that we were going to add some additional holes and fix the existing ones.
I had to buy some new vents and luckily found some spray paint that perfectly matches the trim of my house.

The last project of Friday was to cut the holes larger. Jennifer bought Kyle this new saw a couple of years ago and I think he was liking getting to use it for the first big project.
Also, on Friday afternoon, we went to Home Depot to rent the AttiCat.
This is the contraption that we were going to use to blow insulation up in the attic on Saturday.
According to the package, we needed 30 bags of insulation to reach our desired R-factor in my house. So we made two trips to Home Depot...20 bags in trip one, 10 bags and the AttiCat machine in trip two.
We worked until about 9:30 on Friday night and then we got started at 5 A.M. on Saturday morning. Waking up at 4 something is NEVER fun!
Lola didn't really need the mask, but I did and she was cuter in it than I was!
Here is the end result of the insulation project...
Of course I love it because it looks like it snowed tons of pink snow in my attic!


Oh yeah, guess how many bags it took? 11! This is great because it basically cut the project cost by 2/3, BUT it means that we handled an extra 19 bags about a dozen times (into the flatbed cart, into the pickup, out of the pickup and into the garage, out of the garage and into the pickup, out of the pickup to return to Home Depot!)


We continued working Saturday until we were all too tired to go on. We finished up Sunday about 2:30. Our Sunday project was to finish making the vents work. We ended up sticking PVC pipe up the holes so that air could get in. Kyle also braved the hot attic to seal up some leaky duct work.


It was a long HOT weekend, but luckily we got a break from the 100+ temperatures. It is so wonderful having friends like Kyle and Jennifer who gave up their weekend to work at cooling off my house! At this point, my house is nice and chilly! I'm loving it! I will have to wait until the temps heat up to see the full result of our weekend work, but no pressure Mother Nature, I'm enjoying the lower temps and would be happy to not see the days and days of 100+ temps for a long, long time!

Our other helper this weekend, was Joshua. This silly little guy! He likes to color with his toes!

5 comments:

Ann said...

Wow!! I'm totally amazed you even attempted that!! Great job!! You are such a good homeowner!

Emilymud said...

All I can say is....A)I am glad I live about an hour away. B) You have some freaking amazing friends. C)I looks great.

Traci said...

I seriously want Kyle and Jennifer to move up by us. They are great friends to help you do that! I am sure you are a great friend, too Kara!

I hope your "little" house is cool now!! (I am channeling the rude person at your shower!)

The Ffrench's said...

Yeah .... I am glad that you guys got it done !!! Way to go !!!! Kyle and Jennifer should start a business...LOl

Abby said...

If Kyle and Jennifer travel, I have several DIY projects for them...I will call them D I K&J projects!!

So hoping it all works much better!!

 

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