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Old 03-28-2013, 06:36 PM   #31
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Still metal or drywall. You need to seal it and build a high enough box around it to keep the insulation off it.

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Old 03-28-2013, 07:41 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by miguel24932 View Post
Our house gets very humid in the summer. Increasing the insulation would help as to keep out some of the warm humid air that escapes through the attic in the living area, right?
What usually happens is the attic gets very hot during the day when the sun is out, and then at night you get a heat "soak down" the radiant heat from the attic working it's way down to the ceiling of the rooms, so after sundown if you don't have a well insulated attic you might notice the heat at least will seem worse near the ceilings for that reason.

More insulation will dramatically help that and make it so the rooms stay warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
Another good thing you might look at is a power vent for the attic, they have solar powered as well as AC powered and they are not expensive, I think mine was around $69 with the louvers and screen to put it in the gable wall to replace the usual screen that's there.

Some people dont like them and feel the soffit vents are plenty, and some love them, in my case I noticed a dramatic difference in the summer with the vent fan installed, the difference was especially noticed on the days when it was near 100 degrees, and here in Iowa it can be 100 degrees with 90% or more humidity, I've seen it.


The power vent fan with a thermostat will turn it on when the attic is over say 100 degrees and turn it off below that, the fan helps remove the hot air, draws in the cooler air and helps remove humidity that might be caused by moisture in your house working its way into the attic, but none of these things will do much about OUTSIDE humidity.
If your outside is 95 degrees and 90% humidity, more insulation or a fan isnt going to touch the humidity, a vapor barrier in the ceiling would, but that goes UNDER all the insulation, like right under the sheetrock ceiling during construction, a lot harder to put it in later.

The only thing that will reduce summer humidity in the house is your air conditioner, the cold coils condenses the moisture and drains it into a pan, so if you have high humidity and the AC is running, then either it's too small, or your coils or the pan likely need to be totally cleaned out as they may be full of lint and dust and not running efficiently.
If you have a heat pump unit outside, the thing needs to be blasted with a water hose to remove debris, dust, mud, cobwebs, insects, leaves and dirt caught between all the little fins- blocking the air flow makes the AC work harder and be lots less efficient, and you will see more humidity.

So go and check your air conditioning system, both the outside unit and the coils inside and make sure both are completely clean of any dirt, dust, cobwebs, mold/mildew growth, leaves, lint, pet hair etc, make dure the AC condensation DRAIN pan and hose are both clean, and that water will drain out properly, if the hose is plugged up the water sits in the pan, overflows, and also evaporates back into the air, result is more humidity.

I mentioned once that my roughly 1,000 sq ft house is comfortablly cool and low humidity with only a window air conditioner, a little 120 volt, 5200 BTU is all i've ever had in my house the 15 years I've lived here, it's all I've ever needed. Granted, it doesn't pull the rooms down to 65 degrees but I don't like rooms chilled that cold in the summer, 70 or even 75 is fine, but what the air conditioner does extremely well is remove the HUMIDITY, once you remove the humidity to normal levels down from the 90% sauna it might be outside- the heat feels far less "hot" and 75 degrees does not feel like 75 degrees. With higher humidity even 65 can feel humid and uncomfortably warm to some people.
My house gets full sun all day long and a lot of windows have a South facing orientation.

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Old 03-30-2013, 07:22 PM   #33
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http://books.google.com/books?id=Eq1...page&q&f=false

http://www.advancedenergy.org/buildi...%20Studies.pdf

http://epics.ecn.purdue.edu/hfh/_tea...larresults.htm

http://www.fsec.ucf.edu/en/publicati...SEC-GP-171-00/

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Old 03-30-2013, 08:11 PM   #34
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Makes sense if you have old leaky windows and doors AND leave an attic fan on all winter, or have a power roof turbine that turns all the the time, that it will draw warm air OUT of the house into the attic.
That's why smart people put in a power vent that has a thermostat and an on/off switch like I put on mine My thermostat in the attic is set to 100F
and it usually turns off at night.
At the end of the summer I flipped the power switch to it in my bedroom closet off for the winter.

When you have a power vent you want to be sure to have enough fresh air inlets for the airflow rating of the fan. My main attic has the fan at one end, and large louvers at the other end plus several eave vents.


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Forced attic ventilation is a commonly encouraged technique to reduce residential heat gains from the ceiling. However, even those who are in favor of increased attic ventilation have often warned that the energy consumption associated with the attic fan motor is likely greater than any realized energy savings from its use (Wolfert and Hinrichs, 1974). Also, an early detailed study showed that while forced attic ventilation did reduce cooling energy use, the reduction was quite small and outweighed by the energy consumption of the fan itself (Dutt and Harrje, 1979).
That study from 1974 was almost 40 years ago, of course we can't tell from it what size motor was used, for all we know it was a 1 hp fan.
I can say that my own powered vent uses as I remember a Dayton 1/15th hp direct drive motor, not an airplane engine, so it doesn't use much more than a light fixture or bathroom vent fan when it's actually running.
It turns off at night once the attic is below 100 degrees.
After installing it 2 summers ago I noticed an immediate result, the ceilings no longer radiate warm air down after sunset (the heat soak that happens from a 150-160 degrees hot attic heating up all the insulation during the day, and then that heat soaking downward.)

Remember- insulation does not cool or warm! insulation only SLOWS DOWN the heat/cold transference, so if it's 160 degrees in the attic, the insulation is getting up near that temperature too.
That is why getting as much of that 160 degrees air out, even if you are replacing it with 100 degree August air is a good idea.

I definitely noticed a difference and I feel it's definitely worth the small amount of money it costs to run during the summer day time.

The one drawback is, I can hear the fan running if I am in the front parlor, if I insulated the mounts from the wood it would reduce or eliminate that noise, but since I'm hard of hearing anyway it doesn't bother me, but someone else might want a quieter model, mounting it in a different location, or using rubber isolators on the fan mounts etc.
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Old 04-04-2013, 12:15 AM   #35
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I agree, need to be careful when running an attic fan, that the ceiling is air-sealed, passive ventilation supply/exhaust is adequate, and insulation R-value is present for location; http://www.energyvanguard.com/blog-b...Are-a-Bad-Idea

http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/...r-do-they-hurt

Pages 5-7 mentions a FL test in 2000 for a 6% cooling energy savings;http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...mH81PA&cad=rja and brought out some good points on location, insulation, color of roof, etc. have an important part in roof temps rather than ventilation.

Another, on the same lines; http://www.professionalroofing.net/a...2/feature2.asp

Stick with what you have, I wasn't trying to convince you differently, just giving other readers the facts, especially the dangers of not sizing a fan to the area and pulling conditioned air/HVAC exhaust from below.. Another read, for others; http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...ented%20attics

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Old 04-13-2013, 08:34 PM   #36
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On a side note, if 15 bags did your entire attic waste high, you must have an extremely small attic.
Your attic access hatch must be quite a doozie if you filled it to waist height.
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Old 04-13-2013, 09:41 PM   #37
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Your attic access hatch must be quite a doozie if you filled it to waist height.
You box it out and make a foam cover.
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Old 04-14-2013, 01:31 PM   #38
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That would be a 3 to 4 foot tall box to climb up through. Thats all im saying.
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Old 04-14-2013, 01:37 PM   #39
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That would be a 3 to 4 foot tall box to climb up through. Thats all im saying.
Very true, but no ther choice really

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