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Attic heat in Texas

I have replaced my AC and duct work only to discover the AC still won't keep up in the heat of the day. Inside temp won't go below 81 in the heat of the day but will go down to 70 at night, so the AC is good. I have been told by 3 AC companies that the 4 ton unit is good in my 2100 square ft home. I have a small ridge vent on my low hip roof. I have installed an attic fan and still no relief. What should I do now? Static vents? How many? What type? I have soffit vents and have been told by an attic insullation company that my attic temp gets up to 140 degrees. I'm not made of money, but need relief from our hot Texas summers. Will soon install cellulose insullation, but want to try other options if they make sense. Please help! :( Did I mention that my electric bill is in excess of $400 in the summer?

Re: Attic heat in Texas

Down here in Houston, our neighborhood was originally built without insulation. My roof gets blasted by the sun all day, the attic getting hot enough to melt plastic. The hot water tank is there to take advantage of the free heat. My 20 yr old, too small HVAC unit barely keeps the house at 78ยบ provided I don't cook a lot or have too many people over.

The best thing you can do is to insulate the attic floor and the HVAC pipes, piling the blown in insulation as high as you can. Be sure to get the back sides of any obsticles covered and not only what can be seen from the top of the attic stairs. Also be sure not to get insulation up against the roof or to block the air flow from the eaves to the peak. Keep the blown insulation out of the HVAC drip pan too.

Insulate well before you do anything else. 4 tons for 2100 SF could be enough or too little depending on a complicated formula HVAC folks use to calculate load. That can only be determined by a site inspection.

Re: Attic heat in Texas

To add to Houston's suggestions:

- See if you can paint the exterior/roof white.
- Shade trees are great, except they don't grow instantly. Plant now, for shade in a few years.

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