Cellulose and wiring in attic

nekobusJune 27, 2008

We live outside Boston, in a house about 50 years old. Given our oil bills last year, we've decided we really need to improve our insulation. We had an energy audit via our utility company, and got a lot of useful information, including the suggestion that we add a lot of insulation to the attic. Reading here, it sounds like a lot of people really recommend the blown-in cellulose.

My question is: all our wiring is Romex, so, from what I understand, it's fine if that comes in contact with the cellulose. However, we have a lot of wiring projects to do - installing ceiling cans, moving light switches, etc. Will it be a huge pain to do these after we have cellulose blown in? For people who have the loose cellulose in their attics, is digging around between the rafters looking for wiring relatively painless, or should we try to do all the wiring projects before getting the insulation in?

Thanks!

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lucy

Well why not just be safe and do the wiring first?

    Bookmark   June 28, 2008 at 6:10AM
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brickeyee

Moving cellulose for wiring is not really a big deal at all.
I use a small adjustable garden rake, move it out of the way, then gently put it back.
Blown fiberglass can be moved the same way but is an itchy mess.
Fiberglass bats can just be picked up and then replaced.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2008 at 10:27AM
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nick1862

Eight years ago, my entire house was stripped of all the old wiring and replaced with new wiring, outlets , switches and light fixtures. I have the loose cellulose and the electricians had no problems with it. I have since added fiberglass bats on top for added R-value.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 11:10AM
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nekobus

Thanks, it's reassuring to hear that this won't be a problem from folks who've been there!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 9:54AM
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energy_rater_la

I would do all projects first. Also seal areas that leak into the house. Use recessed lights that are not only IC
Insulation Contact, but ICAT insulation contact Air Tight.

Making as tight of an air barrier from attic into conditoned space will allow you to heat and cool much easier. An added bonus is that your indoor air quality will be improved.
Cellulose has a very fine 'dust' that is easily drawn into the house via holes into the attic.
Seal all penetrations from the attic first.

Best of luck to you.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 7:54PM
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