Blown-In Attic Insulation Cost

Home inspector inspecting blown in attic insulaiton.

If your home often feels too hot or too cold, inadequate insulation could be the culprit. Blown-in insulation, available in three different types, offers a cost-effective solution to improve your home’s comfort. By enhancing your insulation, you can maintain a comfortable temperature without over-relying on your HVAC system.

Blown-in insulation comes in various forms, each offering distinct advantages. This variety allows you to select the best option for your home’s specific needs.

If you’re thinking about installing blown-in insulation in your attic, here’s a comprehensive guide on the costs involved, the factors influencing these costs, and the overall benefits.

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Average Attic Insulation Cost Estimates 

The average cost of blown-in insulation is $1,650, but it can range from $950 to $2,300. The cost varies depending on the type of insulation chosen, the size of the insulated area, and the labor cost.

Here’s an average cost per square foot by material:

  • Fiberglass: $0.50 – $1.10 per square foot
  • Cellulose: $0.60 to $2.30 per square foot
  • Wool: $1.50 to $2.10 per square foot

The cost can also vary depending on whether you’re having insulation installed in an existing house with pre-existing walls, a new house where the construction isn’t quite yet complete, or an area that needs more insulation because it’s being insulated for the first time.

The average cost of blown-in insulation in older homes, depending on the type of insulation, is $1.75 to $3.50 per square foot, while newer homes cost $2 to $4 per square foot.

According to the Department of Energy, adding insulation to primary areas such as the attic, crawlspace, and floors can lead to tremendous energy savings. In fact, it could lower your home’s heating or cooling bills by up to 20% each, providing you with peace of mind knowing your investment in blown-in insulation can be quickly recaptured. 

Breakdown of Attic Insulation Cost Factors

Many factors affect the cost of attic insulation, including the following:

Size of Attic

The larger the area that requires insulation, the more it will cost. You’ll need more material, and since insulation is sold by the square foot, you’ll pay more for the larger materials. Second factor is the cost of labor. The more insulation there is to install, the longer it takes professionals to do the job. Most contractors charge by the hour, an average of $40 – $70 per hour.

Type of Insulation

We touched on the cost of different types of insulation above, but it’s worth mentioning again. As you determine your budget for attic insulation, consider the costs of the different types of material. 

Fiberglass is usually the most affordable, with an average cost of $0.50 – $1.10 per square foot; cellulose costs an average of $0.60 to $2.30 per square foot and wool costs $1.50 to $2.10 per square foot.

Even after selecting a type of material, the cost can vary based on the material’s R-value, which indicates its thermal resistance. The R-value measures the insulation’s effectiveness in resisting heat flow. Insulation with a higher R-value typically costs more upfront but can lead to greater long-term savings on your energy bills.

Additional Services

If, during the attic inspection, the contractor identifies additional issues that need to be addressed before installing new insulation, this could increase the overall cost of the project.

Common additional services include:

  • Mold remediation: If the contractor finds mold in the attic, it’s crucial to remove it professionally before they can insulate it. Mold remediation usually costs $10 to $25 per square foot, depending on the complexity of the problem. It’s important to remember that dealing with mold is dangerous and can cause health risks. Professionals equipped with the knowledge and products to remove it and prevent its return can ensure your safety and peace of mind.
  • Asbestos removal: If the contractor finds asbestos in the attic, you need a professional to remove it. Asbestos removal is very dangerous and should only be handled by professionals. The average cost is $2,000 but can be higher if the area is large or the problem is severe. Attempting to remove asbestos yourself can lead to serious health risks, including lung cancer or mesothelioma.
  • Air sealing: If the area between the attic and living space is too large, you may need air sealing to eliminate drafts that would reduce your insulation’s efficiency. This job can cost from a few hundred dollars to $1,500 or more. Including this in your attic insulation budget ensures the effectiveness of your insulation and gives you a higher return on your investment.
  • Pest removal: If a professional finds pests in the attic, you may need to hire one to remove them. The cost is usually within a few hundred dollars, depending on the pet type and the infestation’s severity.

Miscellaneous Expenses

Even if you don’t need additional services, there may be additional expenses you’ll incur with attic insulation, including:

  • Preparation costs: It will cost more if the professional has to do a lot of prep work, such as moving things or doing any type of demolition, to get to the area.
  • Removal of old insulation: Professionals usually charge by the hour if you need the old insulation removed, so you’ll pay $40 – $70 per hour.
  • Equipment rental: If you DIY attic insulation, you may need to rent equipment to handle the project.

Benefits of Blown-In Insulation

Blow-in insulation is a cost-effective solution for homeowners. It offers significant benefits, such as lowering energy bills, reducing the wear and tear on your HVAC system, and keeping your home’s temperature comfortable.

Energy Efficiency

When your house can maintain the proper temperature without overuse of the HVAC system, it’s a sign of energy efficient usage. This saves you money on energy bills and repairs and creates a cozy living space. Proper insulation allows your home to retain its cool or warm air, reducing the need for frequent HVAC use.

Sound Insulation

If you’ve ever sat inside your house and wondered why you can hear everything outside, your home may not be properly insulated. Blown-in insulation can drown out some outside noise, keeping your home quieter. In addition to providing greater energy efficiency, insulation with a higher R-value can also be more soundproof.

Reduced Condensation

Condensation is a common problem in poorly insulated homes and can lead to mold and mildew growth. This happens when hot air collides with cold surfaces and causes moisture to drip down between the drywall. 

The dark, moist environment becomes a breeding ground for mold and mildew, putting your family at risk. Blown-in insulation is a barrier, preventing condensation from accumulating on the drywall and reducing the need for costly repairs or replacements.

Good Return on Your Investment

Not all home improvements have an immediate return on investment, but insulation can. From day one, you can reduce energy use, helping you save money on your HVAC costs. Because insulation also reduces the risk of leaked air, you don’t have to worry about paying for excessive use of your system and putting more wear and tear on it.

Easier on Your HVAC System

Because insulation keeps your house at a more comfortable temperature by keeping hot or cold air inside, you may not use your HVAC system as much. The less wear and tear on your system, the more money you’ll save on repairs and eventual replacement. Buying time on your system can keep more money in your pocket.

DIY vs Professional Installation

It’s natural to consider DIY for a home improvement project, but you must be aware of the potential risks when it comes to attic insulation. While it may seem like a cost-saving option, it can lead to a messy and possibly incorrect installation if not done correctly. Here’s what you need to know.

DIY Attic Insulation

The most common reason to consider DIY installation is to save money. While you must still purchase the materials, you will avoid paying the labor costs for a professional to do the work for you.

While saving $40 – $70 per hour may seem great, there are some challenges to consider.

  • Tools: Do you have the tools to install the insulation properly? If not, you must rent a blowing machine and may need smaller tools or protective gear, which will increase the cost.
  • Knowledge: Are you aware of locating wall blockages, areas with hidden wires, or areas of concern, such as mold or mildew? Missing these areas could put your insulation at risk of failure and risk your family’s health.
  • Voiding the guarantee: Many contractors include a guarantee for their work. If you install insulation yourself, there aren’t any guarantees, and it’s up to you to fix the problem or pay a professional to do it yourself after you’ve already paid to do it yourself. This means that if you make a mistake during the installation or if the insulation fails to perform as expected, you’ll be responsible for the cost of repairs or replacement, which can be significant.

Professional Attic Insulation

When you opt for professional attic insulation installation, you realize many benefits that can give you peace of mind:

  • Experience and expertise: Working with a reputable company that has experience installing blown-in insulation ensures the job will be done right. They will be more likely to detect any issues, help you understand any extra work you need, such as pest or mold removal, and help you determine the best way to keep your home comfortable.
  • Warranty and guarantees: Reputable companies often offer a guarantee on their labor and parts. Work with a company that stands behind its work, and if you have problems in the near future, it can help.
  • Time: Time is money, so even though it costs to hire a professional, you save your own time, which could mean money saved. This is especially true if you do it yourself and do it wrong; you’d pay a professional on top of the time you spent doing it yourself.

How to Save Money on Blown-in Insulation Cost

While we always recommend hiring a professional for attic insulation, here are some ways to save money on it.

Clean the Attic

You can pay a professional to clean the attic before installing the insulation, but the cost is $40 to $70 per hour. Rather than paying those rates, you can do the work yourself beforehand. If you’re worried about safety, only do what you’re comfortable handling and leave the rest to the pros.

Shop Around for Material

You aren’t obligated to purchase the insulation material from the installer. If you find a better price somewhere else, feel free to purchase the materials and only pay the installer the installation fees. You can even negotiate the prices to get the best rate on the materials as you shop around.

Skip Insulation Removal

You may not be required to remove existing insulation if there aren’t any dangers, such as mold or asbestos. If the professional determines the insulation is just worn down but doesn’t pose any risks or hide any important wires, you can leave it as-is and install the new insulation over it.

This eliminates the per-hour cost you’d pay for insulation removal. However, keep in mind that old insulation can be less effective at preventing heat transfer. This can lead to higher energy bills, and old insulation may have pests, mold, or other health risks.

Get Multiple Quotes

Don’t accept the first quote you receive for blown-in insulation. Instead, shop around with various companies to get the best rate. Don’t be afraid to tell them you are shopping around, as many will try to beat their competitors, giving you the best price.

Additional Considerations

When it comes to determining the cost of blown-in attic insulation, it’s crucial to ask the right questions. This ensures you get the best value for your money. Here are some key questions to ask as you shop around.

  • Will you remove the old insulation? You don’t want to find out after the fact that a company cannot remove old insulation because it contains mold or asbestos. Ensure the company you hire does a thorough inspection and alerts you of any potential issues that could delay the process or cost more money.
  • Do you offer a guarantee? Only work with companies that guarantee their work and the materials they provide. Ask them what conditions must be present for the guarantee to work and what you must do to make a claim.
  • How should I maintain it? Ask your installer how to best maintain your insulation or how often you should check it to ensure it’s not putting your house at any risk. The quicker you catch problems in the attic, the less it will cost to repair. Routine maintenance, such as checking for signs of moisture or mold, can help prolong the lifespan of your insulation and prevent costly repairs in the future.


Blown-in attic insulation is one of the lowest-cost home improvements you can do, with the best ROI. This means that the money you invest in insulation installation is likely to be recouped through energy savings over time. Insulation can increase your home’s energy efficiency, lower energy bills, and keep everyone healthy and comfortable.

Since this isn’t a DIY-friendly job, finding the best insulation installer in the area is important. Check out our list of friendly and reputable installers to ensure your insulation is installed properly.

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How deep should blown-in insulation be in the attic?

The amount of insulation you need in your attic depends on your area, the type of heating system used, and what you’re insulating, whether attic, wall, or ceiling.

Can you put too much insulation in your attic?

Following a professional’s advice is very important when determining how much insulation to install. Too much can cause problems with ventilation, damage your roof beams, and even cause mold growth.

How long does blown-in attic insulation last?

Typically, blown-in insulation lasts 20 – 50 years, but the environmental factors and overall climate will determine how long your insulation lasts. Fiberglass and rock wool last the longest, sometimes up to 50 years, and cellulose last 20 – 30 years.

Should I remove old blown-in insulation?

If your old insulation isn’t damaged, you can leave it. This is a great way to save money on blown-in insulation costs. You can have the new insulation installed over it.

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