but still needed more insulation, seeing as I now had roughly 5 inches of insulation and wanted about 12 inches on the attic floor. I used the flat side of a mulch rake to screed the loose-fill rela- tively flat, knocking the stuff down between the joists to level the floor for the rolls. Unrolling fiberglass insulation can be an easy and inexpensive method to increase insulation lev- els. When the joist bay is full, install the new layer of unfaced insulation perpendicular to the first, covering the ceiling joists to reduce heat loss through the wood. If you install additional fiber- glass insulation over existing insulation, be sure to use unfaced rolls or batts. The facing acts as a vapor retarder that helps reduce the amount of moisture entering a wall, ceiling or floor. If you add a vapor retarder with another layer of faced insulation, any moisture that does get through the first layer may condense on the vapor retarder. This can cause water stains on the ceiling and could lead to mold and structural damage.
If you’re installing additional insulation near the eaves of a home with soffit vents, use soffit vent baffles to allow the vent to stay open above the insulation for proper airflow. Also note that electrical codes generally require that insulation be kept at least 3 inches away from heat-producing fixtures. A common solution is to nail 2x blocking around the fixtures perpendicular to and flush with the ceiling joists. The blocking cre- ates a small protective wall to keep the insulation away from the light. And after you’ve finished adding attic insulation, complete the job by installing an attic access-hole cover and insulating it with batt or foam board insulation. WHAT IS A HOME ENERGY MONITOR? Energy monitors connect to your electricity meter to provide information on how much energy your home is using and how you can make your home more effi- cient. Energy monitors offer a variety of features, from reporting the energy usage of individual appliances to recommending measures to increase efficiency. Whether you want to save money or reduce your carbon footprint, to reduce elec- trical usage your household must either lessen overall consumption as a whole or determine which devices are heavy users. Energy monitors allow you to track your home’s energy usage with much more detail than your generalized power bill, allowing you to see where the fat should be cut. Some home energy monitors allow you to track the cost of your energy con- sumption in real-time. Many home monitors connect to a mobile app that can send notifications about your appliances and warnings on abnormal usage. BETTERVENT The BetterVent is a new kind of indoor dryer vent that’s in a class all its own. Made in the USA by ADR Products, BetterVent’s patent- ed double filter design does not use water, is easy to clean and maintain, and filters the dryer exhaust free of lint dust so it protects indoor air quality. The BetterVent is easy to install, and because it is located close to the dryer, the shorter transition duct line will also shorten most drying times, saving energy. The patented “Safety Exhaust Flap” alerts the user of the need to change the filter, which can be vacuumed to extend its usable lifetime. Replacement filters are available in packages of six. Visit adr-products.com.
After installation, we had exceeded 12” of attic insulation—roughly 5-1/2 inches of cellulose (R- 20) plus the rolls (R- 30) for a total R-value of 50, which far exceeds the minimum R- 30 rating that is recommended for our geographic area.