Quick guide to personal experience with home insulation and costs

First off let me say that my direct experience in Austin is this so far, energy audits are worth it , they are pretty basic and Pedernales offers them for free.  It may take a week or 2 to get an inspector to your home however, they do come out eventually and you can’t beat free!

Here is an overview of what I was told during my home energy audit, the home I have was built in 1985 so it does not have all the cost saving energy insulation that a newer home would have.

  • Replacing windows into double pane windows is a true waste of money

    Cost of insulating your home

    What are the real savings and cost of insulation

If you do the math and say you can get some discounted windows installed by the time you get your ROI it would be years, it is truly too bad that solar is not cheaper.

Solar Fans for the attic– hard to tell on this one

Energy auditor said “doesn’t work”.

Insulation guys that came over said “good deal” and it works.

I would have to think common sense would say if your attic is cooler, your HVAC would not have to work as hard?  On this one, I may side away from the energy auditor since he did say that insulation would be half as much as it was in reality (next sentence)

Blown in insulation costs

Receiving the typical 3 quotes from various contractors the numbers came in as follows: this is for 2277 SF of attic space. Currently the attic has only R11-R15 it should be at least R30 and can go up to R30+

  • $1775 for R30  $0.75 per SF
  • $1821 for R34   $0.80 per sf
  • $2655 to do the job – roofer quote
  • 2247 to do the job – roofer quote

You can see by the cost estimates above they are all over the map, as far as materials go the cost to go green is as follows:  You can go to Lowes or Home Depot and find this material.

  • Green Fiber blown in insulation meaning green friendly is $10.51  per roll
  • You can rent a blow in machine at no cost just a deposit from Lowes , they are for $250 down
  • You also have to purchase vents that fit into the sofits that keep insulation out , cheap only $1.85 each

So the questions is , how much or what % can this save you on heating and air conditioning bills? I have heard anywhere from 20-30% . So if you have a $200 electric bill in the heat of the summer let’s say it is $40 in savings and you average $30 per month.  It is still going to take you almost 5 years to recover the cost of insulating the attic using the lowest quote above.

Key note: you have to determine how long are you going to be in the home that you have, if it is less than 5 years, it probably is not worth it.

Another option to insulation

You can purchase a Nest thermostat which is intuitive and smart, you can tell the thermostat from your mobile phone when you are away and you don’t have to make multiple programmings to it like you would with a digital thermostat . The Nest 2nd generation is $250 , there are also other smart thermostats out there that you can purchase for the same price.