Dirty insulation above ceiling lights

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  #1  
Old 03-31-13, 05:32 AM
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Dirty insulation above ceiling lights

We were cleaning the glass globes of our ceiling lights, and my wife was dissatisfied with a dirty ring where the metal bezel contacted the ceiling, I think just form the metal to paint touching, not sure, but just a well defined black ring, so she decided to clean it. Decided then to loosen the bezel and there is a disc of insulation (yellow fiberglass with foil backing) on top of that bezel. It was quite dirty. In some of the shows i have seen, like Holmes, this they said is due to air flow. Never really felt air coming from up there, but decided i should ask if this is something that really needs to be fixed. It is a "non occupied attic" area i guess you'd say, just a layer of blown in insulation, there are proper soffits and ridge venting, house built in 1994, Wausau home.
 
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  #2  
Old 03-31-13, 05:51 AM
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Hi Gilly,
Just a small hole will allow enough air to leak through and deposit the dust it is carrying in that fiberglass insulation. If I'm reading this correctly, this is a ceiling directly below an attic space which means it is warm air being pushed up and out. If you can see that electrical box from the attic, you will probably see some more dirty insulation. I like to recommend using a fire rated caulking to seal all around the electrical box and any holes in the box where air can leak through. But don't fill the box with caulking. Then cover generously with insulation.

If you have one like that, you may have more and while up there read up on air sealing to save some energy.
Here is a helpful link:
http://www.efficiencyvermont.com/ste...ide_062507.pdf

Bud
 
  #3  
Old 03-31-13, 08:39 AM
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Thanks Bud, and good to hear from you again. I have saved that link to my favorites so I can refer to it again (ps i have a thread going about replacement windows we are planning on doing this year along with some siding questions, if you care to comment).

Yes we have a trilevel home and this is in the ceiling on the upper level. Didn't think of it in terms of warm air going out, figured it was cold coming in.

I have been up in there a few times, just hate going up there. We did a tubular sunlight/skylight and the last few times was to repair a condensation buildup in the tube, so was doing some additional insulation wrapping to the tube and seem to have that problem licked, was over a year ago now and no more water.

I know it disturbs things up there when you go in and I've done my best to redistribute the blown in insulation. Not sure what it is but it doesn't itch, maybe called rock wool??

I will try to get up there and check out the boxes, there are several.

If I want to add to the insulation, that can be a DIY project right? I thought I saw the home centers advertising that they loan or rent you a small blower that can be brought up close to the access door so you can run the hose inside the attic relatively easily.
 
  #4  
Old 03-31-13, 10:20 AM
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Yes, adding more insulation, DIY style, is workable, just dusty.
After all of the years of hearing that warm air rises and the cold air falls in behind it, I now discover it is the heavier cold air falling that pushes the warm air up. Even hot air balloons are pushed into the air rather than rising by themselves. What that means for homes is, the leaks down low, like where the house rests on the foundation, are just as important as the leaks up high.

I'll take a look at your other thread.

best,
Bud
 
  #5  
Old 04-01-13, 10:51 AM
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I had these for you for about 8-10 months, Bud, sorry on the timing. USATODAY.com - Gravity pushes flames and hot air up

Modern Myths

Gary
 

Last edited by Gary in WA; 04-01-13 at 12:07 PM.
  #6  
Old 04-01-13, 12:13 PM
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I have that one Gary, but thanks for thinking about me. As simple as April explains it, I was shocked by how difficult the change in thinking has been. I would let it die, but there are many applications where one misunderstanding has leds to another.

Bud
 
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