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it's way too hot up here!


I've posted here before and have gotten great info - so i thought i'd try again and explain my situation.

i have a 1885 victorian with an old converted attic. I understand about not insulating the walls and the importance of air flow. But the problem here is that the tiny (3-3.5 foot) attic area hardly has ventilation and it gets stifling hot. i've posted an illustration of my room at: http://www.2twins.net/3floor.html

my roof was recently re-shingled and the roofer put a fan in (not realizing) that it was on the side pitched area in between the joists - but not in the uppermost cavity. Unfortunately, he was off on his measurements - so the majority of hot air is still trapped at the top.

Also, i found access to the very top through a tiny door in the closet ceiling and was able to see that someone had blown in gray loose fill insulation as you can see on my web page.

so here are my questions:
1. should i put in a solar attic fan on the top flat part of my roof to get rid of all the trapped hot air?
2. should i run more insulation (possibly fiberglass bats if i can squeeze up there) the opposite direction of the joists?
3. should i slip the stiff board-like insulation (not sure of the correct term!) down the pitched area of the roof, because there is no insulation in between the joists? (i'd keep the one with the fan clear)
4. and lastly... would putting a radiant barrier (with perforations) on the top attic joists do anything at all - or would it be a waste of $. (i live outside of philadelphia by the way)

i am trying to deal with this issue because i have a home office with 2 computers running up there and it gets unbearably hot!

thanks for any info, ideas, suggestions....


Re: it's way too hot up here!

While I am not qualifid to give you any advice on your specific question, can you share how you created the illustration? It looks like you uploaded a photograph and then added captions to it. I would certainly be interested in the necessary software to do this.


Re: it's way too hot up here!

well - i'm a graphic & web designer!

so i just drew a quick illustration in adobe fireworks and then made an html page within dreamweaver and ftp'd it to the web!

you can get free trial versions of these programs at adobe.com

but i must tell you that there is a definite learning curve

good luck!

Re: it's way too hot up here!

Thanks. Probably out of my realm of learning at this point.:D

Re: it's way too hot up here!

Judging by the pictures, the collar has settled cellulose that looks like a value of only about R19 or slightly less. I'm not sure where you live, but standard in Ohio call for R-38 in open joist attics. Considering the small area of your collar, I would dense pack both the slopes and collar with blown cellulose. No ventillation is required or recommended doing this, however the kneewalls will require venting if they are insulated on the floor and kneewall walls (outside the envelope). If you only fluff the collar with more insulation, install roof vents if you cannot install gable end vents. Considering the obvious height of your peak, and what looks to be about a 12/12 pitch, venting could be a scary thing if you're unaccustomed to working in these situations. Thes existing fan between joists is doing you little good in this location.

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