Old 02-06-02, 05:43 AM
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Lightbulb insulation

I bought a new house last April and was wandering if there should be insulation above my garage. The house is one level with an attached 2 car garage. It also has a cathedral ceiling and if you are in the attic, you can see my garage and it has no insulation on top of it. My great room, which is the room with the cathedral ceiling, is always drafty. Could this be the reason???
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Old 02-06-02, 06:33 AM
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In new construction, unless you specify that you wish the garage to be insulated, it won't be insulated. The garage will have very little to do with the drafts in the great room.

The problem with great rooms is convection. What this is the transferance of heat from one object to another object by using air as a medium. Forced air, hot water and even steam systems use convection to heat the air in the room. Hot air rises and when it cools, it drops. This is known as a natural draft. In your other rooms this is usually not noticable. However, in your great room because of the ceiling height, the natural draft become quite noticable. It also accounts for the temperature difference between the ceiling and the floor of a great room. It is because of this, radiant floor heat is usually recommended.

Radiant is the heat transfer from one object to another without the use of a medium. An example of this is an incandescent light bulb. As you move your hand closer to the light bulb when it's on, it gets warmer the closer you get to the bulb. The heat from the bulb is radiating heat to your hand without the use of a medium. Radiant floor heat does the same thing. The closer you get to the floor the warmer it gets and the further, the cooler. In great rooms with radiant floor heat, the floor area is warmer than the ceiling. The exact opposite with convection and the natural drafts become unnoticable.

There are a lot of ways to apply radiant floor heat to a great room, electric, hot water, forced air and most of the time supplemental.
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