Re: heating and cooling of a cape cod home
Ditto on JacktheShack's post regarding clarification on the heating system being forced hot air or not and the configuration of the equipment. As well his comment regarding insulation.
Also there can be benifits from some of what asc2078 has posted.
as mentioned previously could you clarify as to what type and configuration the HVAC equipment is.
Originally Posted by Debra
This can be a complicated issue.
The roof was not ventilated. We vented the roof and installed "baffles?" along the inside of the roof rafters for air flow, followed by insulation and then drywalled the ceiling.
We then rented the house out. The problem is our tenant complained that the upstairs which contains a bedroom, small open area and a bathroom is too cooled in the winter and very hot in the summer. This was echoed by my painter today who was working in the upstairs. He said it is like a oven upstairs.
Unfortunately there isn't enough detail as to what size rafters , type of insulation and how this was done.
Simply saying installing vents and insulation won't determine if this was properly done.
For example .... if the roof rafters are only 2x4's .... the most you will have would be around R13 in the ceiling. This isn't a very high value to prevent heat gain during the summer .... since the roof is just on the other side of the drywall. In the winter there isn't much R value to prevent heat loss .... also cold transmission from the roof just on the other side of the drywall.
Was there an air/vapour barrier properly installed?
If not this will contribute to poor insulation performance from drafts leaking cold air into the space but also allowing heat to escape.
There is also the consideration of also creating condensation issues allowing warm moist air escaping into the cold space behind the knee wall and the underside of the roof.
If fiberglass batts were used the insulating performance will be greatly reduced if it becomes moist . Also , the performance of fiberglass insulation will be reduced if exposed to moving air .... 20 - 40% reduction in R value. So if we say there is a reduction of 30% and you started with R13 then you would have a net R value of around R 9.
As for venting was this done correctly?
Not only for ventilating the attic spaces .... but .... if improperly configured can contribute to air leaks in the living space.
If these componets weren't properly done can lead to poor performance of a less than optimum condition to begin with. In some cases poor insulating techniques can cause waste of money for the performance you're getting as well creating issues like condensation.
You mentioned having insulated the upstairs though if the lower level hadn't been upgraded this would have some impact trying to maintain the temperature. There may not be very much insulation in the lower level walls as well air leaking in and out from electrical and windows.
The thermostat for the furnace is located on the first level in the living room. My tenant also complained that she was going through propane like crazy this last winter. She recently moved out due to these problems.
Having the thermostat on the main level makes it difficult to balance the heating/cooling when there are 2 levels without some other considerations.
As mentioned previously clarification is needed to determine if this is a forced hot air system.
We have asked the furnace installer to check this problem out but so far we have not have a response. Do we need a two zone system? Do they have anything like that in a propane system? Is a space heater a possible answer for the upstairs? What is the best way to cool it down in the summer?
So going on the guess that it is ..... regardless what fuel is used for combustion the air delivery system is pretty much the same.
One method that is effective to control the temperature for 2 levels of living space is by zoning.
Basically .... with a single furnace there would be zone dampers installed for the duct work going to the lower level and dampers for ducting to the second level.
With an addition of a second thermostat on the upper level combined with motorized dampers can improve the temperature control independant of the other level.
Just some thoughts.
"" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "