It’s a very cold December now, and we still don’t have heat. We’re subsisting on electric radiators, both oil-filled and baseboard. However, it dipped down to 10° over the weekend, and they just weren’t cutting it. When I got up Saturday morning, the thermostat in the living room said it was 53°. Sarah decided that we needed to insulate the attic. She said she would do it, but I’ve heard that song before and I know how it goes. With no insulation to speak of, the little heat we did have was going right out the roof. We don’t plan to remodel the second floor for another year or so, so even once we have real heat we’d still be losing a ton of it.

Not insulated

Not insulated

We debated buying the mineral wool batts we plan to eventually put between each floor, but they’re pretty pricey, and we weren’t sure how well taking them out and putting them back in later would work. Ultimately, we went with blown in cellulose because it was drastically cheaper, plus we had some Menards rebates from buying the subfloor that made it even more affordable. Including the machine rental we were out of pocket about $65, so it won’t take much heat savings to recoup. Sarah and I spent the rest of the morning pulling all of the random boards out of the attic (it’s been weeks since we had a scrap wood pile!). Her parents and nephew Aaron showed up in the early afternoon. There were some unexpected delays in getting everything, though, and we didn’t wind up getting the machine set up at the house until 7 pm. It was crunch time, but fortunately the machine was quick: we blew through 20 bags in 30 minutes. Each bag covers 40 square feet with 6″, rated at R-19.

Insulated

Insulated

We discovered that in our rush to take out the boards, we had knocked out the kitchen electric circuit, so I had a follow up job of fixing that. I wound up having to replace a length of BX cable over cloth-wrapped wires with one of our newer cable segments from the massive pile in the basement. Unfortunately that necessitated taking down the ceiling fan in the kitchen to get everything re-wired, but that’s all done now. The house is still cold, 64° as of this writing, but it’s not as bad as it was, and hopefully soon we’ll have real heat. The radiators were delivered earlier today, so now it’s all up to Lester (our radiant heating installer). He’s in the basement right now, hooking stuff up.

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