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Old 10-01-2006, 11:16 AM   #1
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Insulating an attic for HVAC system


I recently had an HVAC system for my upstairs installed in my attic (Chicago, IL) which uses hot water for heating. My contractor recommends building an insulated box around the unit but I am considering insulating the entire roof instead. How would I approach this? I know that there is more to it than simply stapling batts of insulation between the rafters and I'm confused about ensuring proper ventilation.

Any advice would be appreciated. On the other hand, if anyone knows of a good text/web resource on the subject, feel free to share.

Tanx,
Jimmy

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Old 10-01-2006, 11:46 AM   #2
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Insulating an attic for HVAC system


If your thinking about insulating your rafters, you should install baffles, before the insulation. This should allow proper air flow.

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Old 10-01-2006, 01:48 PM   #3
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Insulating an attic for HVAC system


Try these links.

http://www.certainteed.com/CertainTe.../Installation/


http://www.buildingmedia.com/naima/videos.html
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Old 10-03-2006, 10:10 AM   #4
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Insulating an attic for HVAC system


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Originally Posted by fqp25 View Post
If your thinking about insulating your rafters, you should install baffles, before the insulation. This should allow proper air flow.
I read somewhere that you could cover the rafters with sheets of rigid insulation and then top that with something fireproof, i.e. drywall. What do you think about that? If feasible, wouldn't the rafter spaces provide the necessary air flow from soffit to ridge?
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Old 10-03-2006, 11:16 AM   #5
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Insulating an attic for HVAC system


I'm not sure where you are but you might get more bang for the buck if you wrap the ducts with a radiant barrier like:

http://www.low-e.com/products/produc...t=Low-E%20HVAC

There's several studies out there on the effectivity with great results.

just my 2 cents
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Old 10-03-2006, 04:58 PM   #6
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Insulating an attic for HVAC system


GO BEARS!!!

I don't know about covering your rafters. That info sound like; if you want to have the rafters exposed in a living space. My understanding was that this is in an attic. As for the HVAC unit, you should do what your contractor suggests, but I would add to the insulation to the ceiling and not the roof. If this is just an attic you want to keep that temp at about 31 degrees in the winter (especially in Chicago). So keeping the water lines and the rest of the HVAC System insulated would be important.


GO BEARS!!!
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Old 10-07-2006, 07:49 PM   #7
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Insulating an attic for HVAC system


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I don't know about covering your rafters. That info sound like; if you want to have the rafters exposed in a living space. My understanding was that this is in an attic.
Yes, this is an attic. My idea about covering the rafters, i.e. insulating the roof, was to keep the attic in general warmer. But alas, maybe this is entirely overkill.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fqp25 View Post
As for the HVAC unit, you should do what your contractor suggests, but I would add to the insulation to the ceiling and not the roof. If this is just an attic you want to keep that temp at about 31 degrees in the winter (especially in Chicago). So keeping the water lines and the rest of the HVAC System insulated would be important.
The ceiling is well insulated in fact. It has approximately 18" of loose fill insulation. And, the hot water supply/return lines are well insulated as well. I'm kinda wondering what will happen when the cold air hits the warmer are handling unit.

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GO BEARS!!!!
Right on!
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Old 10-07-2006, 09:10 PM   #8
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Insulating an attic for HVAC system


Your attic insulation seems adequate. Building the insulating box should help keep the cold air from the air handler. The key here is to keep the attic cool.

Keeping the roof itself warm can cause snow to melt off the upper part of your roof to fast, causing ice damming problems which will cause moisture problems in your attic.

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