Attic Upgrade/s Fixes


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Old 05-17-14, 08:33 PM
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Attic Upgrade/s Fixes

Hello,

I've been in the attic lately and it seems I have quite a bit of work to do. There is some blown in insulation but only to about the joist top, sometimes a little lower. I've read online that in my area I'm going to need a LOT more.

The next item is the two bathroom fans that are exhausting into the attic. There is a plastic exhaust hose running up and it just stops. I'm assuming this is bad. Also, I've seen these insulated hoses, should I be using these?

These bathroom fans just had the blown in type insulation covering them which worries me a little. Wouldn't this be considered a fire hazard? I also read that I should caulk around the fan where it meets the drywall.

The other big thing I'm worried about is the pipe that runs from the HVAC through the house to the roof. You can look down and see a lllll the way down which seems like it is highly inefficient.

I don't have any radiant barriers, only 2 gable vents(if you could call them that), and no soffits.

Long story short the top floor gets ridiculously hot during the summer, and the exact opposite during the winter. There also seems to be some shotty work on the plywood. I could take some pictures to give people an idea of what I'm working with if needed.
 
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Old 05-18-14, 04:28 AM
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I just made some quick comments to get you started.

What is your general area, it helps us to know?

Yes, exhausting bath conditioned air into an attic is bad.

A chimney chase that is open from attic to basement is bad. A non-combustible material like sheet metal should be used to cover the gap and sealed in place with a fire rated caulk or foam.

For the bath fans I would follow the mfgs recommendations for any clearances required or insulation around them. Others here may be more familiar if you post make and model.

If the attic is a standard triangular attic isolated from the house, you will want to air seal between house and attic before you insulate. A vapor barrier would only be recommended in very cold climates. Moderate climates can get by with the vapor properties of a good paint.

Traditional ventilation would like to see 1 ft² of net free vent area (NFA) for every 150 ft² of attic floor. Half of that number up high and the other half down low. We will need to talk about where you might locate the extra vents.

Bud
 
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Old 05-18-14, 04:39 AM
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Hi Bud,

Thanks for the reply. We are in Southeastern PA.

It is a traditional triangular attic.

Here are the bathroom fans:

Robot Check

I'm pretty sure that's very close. Only difference is mine is an 80CFM and .3 Sone rated which I have two of. I would guess that I should run the exhaust fans to a ventilated opening(gable?).

"Traditional ventilation would like to see 1 ft² of net free vent area (NFA) for every 150 ft² of attic floor. Half of that number up high and the other half down low. We will need to talk about where you might locate the extra vents."

The tricky thing is that I'm unable to have soffits. But these gable vents are just covered up pretty much making them useless I would think. I'm going to have to snap some pictures today to show people.
 
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Old 05-18-14, 05:05 AM
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The fan doesn't look like it would have a restriction for being buried in insulation, only 8.5 watts, but if you are concerned, a simple box out of drywall could surround the unit and allow you to cover it with lots of insulation. I didn't see a mfg recommendation on that page, perhaps you could contact them.

Vent to gables or out the roof. In PA I would prefer the gables to avoid the snow. Slope away from the fan so any condensation drips to the outside and cover with insulation. Use a rigid metal duct.

A ridge vent can often be added to existing shingles. There are also edge vents that go under the bottom shingle. Low gable vents can also provide the low venting. Other arrangements are also available. Why/how are the existing gable vents covered?

Bud
 
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Old 05-18-14, 05:42 AM
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DELTA VFB25AC 80 CFM .3 SONES BREEZ EXHAUST FAN DELTA ELECTRONICS - Munro Distributing

This is the exact fan, took a while to dig it up as it's DC'ed. I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to slope towards the fan as the gable vents are quite a bit higher than the fan.

I did forget to mention we have a Ridge vent. The one side Gable vent however is covered by a piece of plywood. There's maybe… 2 inches of space between, then some sort of chicken wire, then the vent which is fairly closed up.

I may make the box to go over the fans for my own peace of mind. I have some canister lights in the master bedroom which I would also do the same I guess.
 
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Old 05-18-14, 08:29 AM
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Bath fan often exhaust a lot of moisture through a cold duct, which is a recipe for condensation. Even when insulated they start out cold. Not sure what to recommend.

Having a ridge vent is great. When all you have is a ridge vent and gable vents, those gable vents will act as intake vents, all-be-it poorly. Natural venting relies on a difference in height between the intake and exhaust openings. If soffit vents are not going to happen, you can trick the system by extending the gable vents down to near floor level with some ductwork. You could even "Y" and extend to each side closer to the soffit area. If those ducts are insulated, they will fill with cold air and effectively function as vents near the attic floor. Might be cheaper than major work to add low venting somewhere else. More details on this unconventional approach if needed.

Note: Leaving just high gable vents with the ridge vents will increase ceiling leakage into the attic as well as functioning poorly.

Do what you can to to open both gable vents with the extended duct in mind, at least down to the attic floor, that is where the cold air wants to go anyway.

Bud
 
 

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