How should I cool the unfinished portion of my attic?


Old 07-09-19, 10:53 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2019
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How should I cool the unfinished portion of my attic?

Here is the situation: I’m a first time homeowner in New England with an attic that is partially finished (say 400-ish sq ft finished and 300-ish sq ft that is unfinished). The unfinished portion is separated from the finished portion by an accordion door. I use the finished portion as an office and I use a 12000 btu portable A/C unit to attempt to cool the finished portion. The problem is that the unfinished portion is BOILING hot in the summer, and although it seems like a small amount of air air makes it through the accordion door, the air that does is extremely hot and seems to warm the finished portion of the room. When it’s in the 80s, the A/C unit has no hope of catching up with the heat.

Some other potentially relevant facts:
(1) the unfinished portion of the attic does not seem to have any vent to the outside whatsoever.
(2) the rafters in the unfinished portion do not have any insulation.

The heat is such that the finished portion of the attic is not very useful in the summer, despite the A/C.

Any thoughts on what to do? I’ve researched radiant barriers and an attic fan, but not sure if either of these would help.
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Old 07-09-19, 01:33 PM
airman.1994's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2005
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Replace the bi-fold door with a real outdoor rated door. Ventilate the unfinished attic. How is the roof vented on the finished side?
Old 07-10-19, 06:32 AM
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Is the portable unit 1 hose or 2?
Old 07-10-19, 08:23 AM
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: United States
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Your fundamental problem is an attic with no ventilation. For the overall health of your home, you should look into that first. i.e. adding ridge and soffit vents.

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