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Should we add additional attic insulation?

familygal's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 12

11-28-05, 10:28 PM   #1  
Should we add additional attic insulation?

We live in a 1950's 1-1/2 story English Bungalow (pitched roof) in Chicagoland. The "side-attics" (big unfinished spaces on either side of upstairs bedrooms) have loose fill insulation underneath floor boards, and fiberglass batts against the wall facing interior of house. The very "top attic" (reachable by hatch) also has grey loose fill insulation (cellulose?) between bays, but no floor boards over this insulation.

We had planned to lay those pink, encased attic blankets over the bays of the top attic for increased insulation. Would it make sense to also lay attic blankets over the portions of the side attics that already have some insulation underneath plywood boards? These floor boards have a lot of gaps between them, so it's not an airtight seal. Blowing in insulation sounds like a hassle right now, and we're hoping for a quicker fix, if it would make a difference in comfort/heating costs.

Thanks for your guidance!


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Scott_K's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 51

11-29-05, 08:23 AM   #2  
This link will help you with the R values in your area.

If you're going to lay down batts for the side, I think you're suppose to lay them perpendicular to the rafters since there is already insulation there. At least that's what I've read when you have existing batts between the rafters. I'm not entirely sure how it works with loose fill.

Adding insulatioin to the attic floors should help the first floor, but the 2nd floor, I don't see it helping if you're only doing the attic floors. If you were adding to the attic walls, I can see that helping the bedrooms.

FWIW: A friend of mine has a similar house to yours (1940s cape). He gutted and insulated one of the upstairs rooms and it is a world of difference.

Hope this helps,

familygal's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 12

12-01-05, 10:08 AM   #3  
Additional attic insulation (cont'd)


Thanks for the info.

We're actually hoping to make the first floors more comfortable by reducing heat loss, as the 2nd floor is already warmer (guess the attic wall insulation is working!).

Thanks again!

Concretemasonry's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 6,125

12-01-05, 11:18 AM   #4  
Should we add additional attic insulation?

Do you have returns and operate the fan? This would allow you to get the heat back down.

Returns are not just cold air returns - they return all air and the fan makes the temperatures more uniform. Without return circulation, the upstairs will always be much warmer (even with no heat supply).


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