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Old 10-31-2013, 06:11 AM   #1
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Insulate house built on concrete slab. Please help


Ok, so I live in a cape cod house setup right now as just a ranch style living as the second floor is gutted and not in use since there's a major heat problem up there. Since my floors are concrete downstairs, and I plan to make the upstairs a completely second zone for heating in the future, is it ok to insulate above the ceiling from upstairs floor all the way through to keep the heat downstairs with the gas furnace I have. These are 2x8's. As it stands, the heat registers are in the ceilings facing down and I know all the heat is going right back up stairs. The house is 1000 sq ft.

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Old 10-31-2013, 06:29 AM   #2
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Insulate house built on concrete slab. Please help


My own personal option is not to do it.
Unless I was trying to make this into a duplex or I was addressing some sound transfer issues I would want any rising heat to offset the heating lost and cost on the second floor in the future.
Even if you insulated the floors the heat is still going to be going up the stairs.

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Old 10-31-2013, 06:43 AM   #3
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Insulate house built on concrete slab. Please help


Yeah, I'm back and forth on what to do. The cape cod house also has the gas furnace upstairs inside part of the knee wall with metal duct work running though the attic cause major heat lose and will probably result in ice damming this winter. I plan on taking out that furnace completely by next year, and spraying closed cell spray on the whole cathedral ceiling up there from edge to edge. I'm sort of in a messed up situation as I don't know what to really do at this point since there is a problem with keeping the heat downstairs. I'm thinking of going with the ductless heat pump units and totally eliminating the furnace idea all together in this house since there is no room to put a new one anywhere. As it stands, I feel all my heat sitting upstairs right now even with all the registers closed off up there. There are also no soffit vents and the upstairs was poorly designed with the collars taken out and r-11 in the ceilings. Until next year when I can afford closed cell spray foam and invest in a new heating/cooling system, is there anything I can really do to make this situation any better? I already put r-10 xps outside around the footer edge around the perimeter as well as gutted and insulated the first floor with a vapor barrier on the walls. Any other advice?
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Old 10-31-2013, 06:58 AM   #4
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Insulate house built on concrete slab. Please help


Please go back and add your location to your profile.
Just go to Quick links to edit.
Just the state will help, for all we know you could be anyplace on the planet.
With no soffit vents or ridge vent no matter what you do for heating you may have issues with ice dams.
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Old 10-31-2013, 07:27 AM   #5
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Insulate house built on concrete slab. Please help


Yesterday wasn't soon enough and if you have an open stairwell get it temporarily closed in some manner asap or the insulation will do very little. Plan now what type heat system for the upper level and deal with that when the time comes.
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Old 10-31-2013, 08:40 AM   #6
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Insulate house built on concrete slab. Please help


Sorry, I live in Pittsburgh, Pa. Yeah I noticed for sure as soon as start going up the steps I feel the heat. There is a door at the top but by that point its too late as the heat is sitting up there. I'd like to provide some pictures of the situation I'm in if that helps. Pretty much everything needs redone upstairs one way or another. I'm sort of leaning towards closed cell foam spray but around 4k is a little steep which I'm assuming the cost will probably be. I'll go take a few pictures and perhaps that might help explain my situation a little better.
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Old 10-31-2013, 08:58 AM   #7
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Insulate house built on concrete slab. Please help


Here's a few pictures that might help better explain the situation.
Attached Thumbnails
Insulate house built on concrete slab. Please help-img_1632.jpg   Insulate house built on concrete slab. Please help-img_1633.jpg   Insulate house built on concrete slab. Please help-img_1634.jpg   Insulate house built on concrete slab. Please help-img_1635.jpg   Insulate house built on concrete slab. Please help-img_1637.jpg  

Insulate house built on concrete slab. Please help-img_1638.jpg  
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Old 10-31-2013, 09:00 AM   #8
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Insulate house built on concrete slab. Please help


Here's the rest I took.
Attached Thumbnails
Insulate house built on concrete slab. Please help-img_1639.jpg   Insulate house built on concrete slab. Please help-img_1640.jpg   Insulate house built on concrete slab. Please help-img_1641.jpg   Insulate house built on concrete slab. Please help-img_1642.jpg   Insulate house built on concrete slab. Please help-img_1643.jpg  

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Old 10-31-2013, 09:20 AM   #9
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Insulate house built on concrete slab. Please help


The door will suffice even though you feel warmer air at the top. Air flow is what you what to prevent. With the door open and using a smoke stick placed at the top of the door opening and near the bottom of the opening you can see the air flow traveling in the two opposite directions. For the most part the door prevents that.
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Old 10-31-2013, 09:26 AM   #10
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Insulate house built on concrete slab. Please help


I'd be really curious with a flir ir gun to see all the flows going on in this house. I plan on renting one on a cold day to see exactly whats happening. Anyway, I'm really starting to lean towards turning this upstairs into a duplex or second zone as its just a pita trying to figure out exactly what to do with it. The reason I ask about sealing up the all floor up top or atleast providing insulation above the bedrooms/livingroom/kitchen downstairs to help keep the air down until I can move on with the project. I'm in pickle for sure. Any other thoughts? What would you do if you were in my situation?
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Old 10-31-2013, 07:43 PM   #11
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Insulate house built on concrete slab. Please help


Need to-- either now or later - but before finishing upstairs; insulate the rest of the ceiling (attic floor), block air movement under the new walls (which is mute point if decked and uninsulated between knee-walls) insulate canned lights (IF IC rated). Air seal the whole attic, inc. canned lights/drywall joints: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sourc...wWATQw&cad=rja

Weather-strip seal the door against warm air loss (sides/head/sweep). R-38 or R-49 in PA, depending on location for attic floor behind knee-walls; http://energycode.pnl.gov/EnergyCode...e=Pennsylvania

Add ventilation baffles/furnace supply air if needed; http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...ty-insulation/

Gary
PS. add a handrail.
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Old 10-31-2013, 11:25 PM   #12
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Insulate house built on concrete slab. Please help


Gary, a few questions if you don't mind me asking. When you say insulate the rest of the ceiling do you simply mean the areas behind the knee walls and adding the styrofoam blocking sealed? Or the whole entire floor? I could do the section under the other half if need be. I have to rip up the wood planks as I'm going to be re-doing the floor with new plywood anyway. Also what's your thoughts on using batts or cellulose? Also I'm kinda in a difficult situation with that furnace/plumbing/and metal duct run blocking half the knee wall on the one side. The other side of the house knee wall doesn't have much but a few wires. I'm really considering in the next year or so getting that furnace out of there and either relocating it to a better spot in the house or going with ductless heat pumps all over the house. I'm not sure what the best option is for that? What would you suggest if in my situation? They pretty much drywalled the furnace in there with an access panel all the way on the other end and it's a real pita to have to change the filter or even have it ever serviced.

I'm also confused if I really should just take the plunge and go with closed cell foam or cut the ridge vent on the roof and get something like fascia flow to provide air input since there is none. Also the lights I got under the living room are halo ic. Can I use great stuff foam spray around them to air seal? Sorry if this is a lot of questions but I'm having a hard time picking the best option for where I really should provide the thermal barrier and this all ties into what I'm going to do with the furnace and/if I should just turn this into a double second zone. If you can help on any of this id really appreciate it. Wish this house didn't have so many issues up there but it is what it is and I know it needs fixed.
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Old 11-02-2013, 12:59 PM   #13
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Insulate house built on concrete slab. Please help


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Originally Posted by dfp42 View Post
Gary, a few questions if you don't mind me asking. When you say insulate the rest of the ceiling do you simply mean the areas behind the knee walls and adding the styrofoam blocking sealed?--------------------- both, if not using the upstairs for living space; need to define your continuous thermal boundary.Or the whole entire floor? I could do the section under the other half if need be. I have to rip up the wood planks as I'm going to be re-doing the floor with new plywood anyway. Also what's your thoughts on using batts or cellulose?----------- cellulose is much better; if the ceiling joists/drywall support required R-value safely; https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q...h3VLQNBaXp54rA

http://s84919.gridserver.com/company...-created-equal
Also I'm kinda in a difficult situation with that furnace/plumbing/and metal duct run blocking half the knee wall on the one side. The other side of the house knee wall doesn't have much but a few wires. I'm really considering in the next year or so getting that furnace out of there and either relocating it to a better spot in the house or going with ductless heat pumps all over the house. I'm not sure what the best option is for that? What would you suggest if in my situation? They pretty much drywalled the furnace in there with an access panel all the way on the other end and it's a real pita to have to change the filter or even have it ever serviced.---------------- add new attic access and insulate under/around the ducting.

I'm also confused if I really should just take the plunge and go with closed cell foam or cut the ridge vent on the roof and get something like fascia flow to provide air input since there is none. -------------------- if the attic is now showing signs of moisture problems; ventilation is suggested; mildew, mold, wetness, rusting nail points through the decking (sheathing) above, water staining anywhere, etc.Also the lights I got under the living room are halo ic. Can I use great stuff foam spray around them to air seal? Sorry if this is a lot of questions but I'm having a hard time picking the best option for where I really should provide the thermal barrier and this all ties into what I'm going to do with the furnace and/if I should just turn this into a double second zone. If you can help on any of this id really appreciate it. Wish this house didn't have so many issues up there but it is what it is and I know it needs fixed.
Isn't that a cold-air return, hence, no insulation.....

Gary
PS. Sealing an IC Halo Light
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Last edited by Gary in WA; 11-02-2013 at 01:02 PM.
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Old 11-02-2013, 08:10 PM   #14
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Insulate house built on concrete slab. Please help


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in WA View Post
Isn't that a cold-air return, hence, no insulation.....

Gary
PS. Sealing an IC Halo Light
A return air duct that is outside the thermal envelope needs to be insulated just like every other duct does. You can avoid insulating it if and only if it's inside the thermal envelope. The return air is still much warmer than the air in your attic area in the winter so you will be losing heat.
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Old 11-03-2013, 02:21 PM   #15
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Insulate house built on concrete slab. Please help


Good catch, thank you! What was I thinking.... I answered correctly to insulate the attic duct correctly then added the blooper (brain fart)..... lol.

Df, post another thread in HVAC for answers on the split areas....

Gary

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