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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    5

    Default Insulating & Ventilating an attic space

    Greetings, first let me thank you all for taking the time to read my question. I want to add new insulation to my attic space. The home was built in 1936, and resides in NW Ohio. The attic itself is the entire footprint of the home, on an A style roofline. The attic itself has built in stairway and makes access easy. The original insulation is still up there, along with some fiberglass insulation added in the 1960's. These two layers are roughly 5 inches. Ventilation is two original gable vents, and later 2 roof vents added. The home does not have overhangs to use soffit vents. At first I was going to blow in insulation to joice level 6", then lay a blanket down. But that would be a loss of so much storage space, which is a premium in this home.
    A. What would your recommendations be for getting the most insulation in the space but make it a usable area for storage (adding a floor)
    B. During the summer months this space gets extremely hot. At times too hot to store anything up there, I feel ventilation needs improving? suggestions? Electric gable fan, more roof vents?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    1,418

    Default Re: Insulating & Ventilating an attic space

    If you plan on flooring the attic so that you can use it for storage, then adding insulation to the joists is not going to help. You best bet is to remove and seal up the current vents and insulate the rafters and gable walls with blown in foam insulation, closed cell would be the best. Because it is sprayed right on the underside of the roof decking, it needs no ventilation. The run a duct from the HVAC up there for heat and cooling.

    The cost to include the attic in your climate control will not be too much if you do it this way. In fact you will see a reduction in your HVAC costs, if done right, compared to what you have now. Without soffit vents, I don't see any way to use fiberglass or any other batt insulation.

    If looks do not count, then make sure the foam is sprayed over the ends of the rafters and the gable wall studs to insulate the wood itself. Wood has a relatively low R value and can short circuit quite a bit of your heat/cooling if exposed. If looks are a concern, cut off the foam flush, then cover with rigid foam boards and then sheetrock to finish the attic. Then you might find other uses besides storage for this space.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Insulating & Ventilating an attic space

    Thank you very much for the reply, this is something I will really consider. One question to your reply. Our house does not have A/C & Due to the homes duct/vent design, I have been told adding it will only waste money since the cool air would never make it to the 2nd floor. Will not having AC affect this space if we closed off the space of outside ventilation? I can get heat into that room for the winter months but not AC.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    1,418

    Default Re: Insulating & Ventilating an attic space

    The affect of not having AC will not change, but you could add a pair of windows, one in each gable that you could screen and open on hot days. Even without the windows, the attic will be a lot cooler because of the insulation.

    But, you can add AC and get it upstairs and even into the attic using a High Velocity duct system or a mini duct system. These are designed to be retrofitted into older homes like yours. Google mini duct AC or High Velocity air ducts for more info.

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