Should I insulate my attic?


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Old 07-24-10, 03:38 PM
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Question Should I insulate my attic?

I recently bought a house, and, through out these summer months, have been impressed with the cooling bills.
Recently, I got a ladder out and finally inspected the attic (it has a finished 3rd floor, and the attic is a small area just in the peak of the house roof). I discovered that the roof and attic contain no insulation. I'm not sure if this condition led to the low cooling bills (allowing heat to vent--or rather, seep--out of the roof). There are no air vents in the attic.
My questions are: should I insulate it for winter? If so, should I add air vents to the roof to keep the venting effect functioning next summer? Is there someone I can hire to evaluate whether I need insulation or not?
I would like to make my home as efficient as possible.
If any experts on HVAC/energy efficiency here would like more info on the situation, tell me what info you need to evaluate the situation and I will provide.
Thanks!
 
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Old 07-24-10, 04:29 PM
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Not an HVAC expert, but you don't insulate rafters. Insulate joisting. I am not sure what you have. If it is a flat area, then insulate it . Don't block any air moving in the area, and plan on installing a ridge vent to allow the hot air to escape.
You aren't insulating to change the temperature of the attic, but to keep the conditioned air from migrating into that area, so winter or summer insulation and venting is needed.
 
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Old 07-24-10, 05:06 PM
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We can do a lot of guessing from far away, but testing would be difficult. I know DIYers often shy away from the suggestion of bringing in a pro, but when trying to make ones home really energy efficient, starting out the process wirh a first class energy audit is on the smart side. There are so many things that need to be done first to avoid overlooking them or going so far beyond that it isn't economical to back up and start over.

Even the brand new homes I have audited, usually showing off for friends, have been shockers. The details that will be uncovered combined with the advice from the auditor will put you on a short and productive path to saving energy.

Once you know the where-to we can help with the how-to.

Bud
 
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Old 07-25-10, 03:26 AM
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I further Bud's comments on having it evaluated for the extent of insulation/ventilation needed. Likewise, I was in a new house the other day and opened the attic jump door and the heat wave was scorching that fell on me. I finally stuck my head in the attic and found there was, in fact, a ridge vent. The plywood was not cut back to allow for the air to flow, but there was a vent!! Dumb. All the soffit vents were occluded by insulation. Where do the contractors get these guys???
 
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Old 07-25-10, 05:50 AM
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Knowing where you are hiding in the USA would also help for perspective and more replies.
 
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Old 07-29-10, 05:59 PM
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Thanks, guys. I suppose an energy audit would be in order.
I live in Kansas, so it is hot, humid summers and potentially very cold winters.
 
 

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