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Old 05-23-2013, 04:42 PM   #1
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Excessive HEAT in Attic


Every summer - here we go...my attic heats up almost twice to whats outside on a hot day. I have two separate units, and the upstairs unit runs all day to keep up with its target set point.

Disclaimer: I am an average consumer with no technical skills or knowledge about how things work in construction.

My possible solution(s) as recommended by few local vendors I have consulted -
1) Make cuts on the roof top (dont know the term for that - but the part where the roof eventually meet on top to make a triangle shape). Basically let hot air out of that part since hot air supposedly only travels UP. This is per vendor #1.
2) Put what they call 'radiant shield' that lines the roof from underneath to prevent heat or cold from penetrating thru the shingles and wood. Vendor #2.
3) Insulate the entire roof that would bring the attic temperature close to room temperature. A more expensive option by same vendor #2.

My preference is to just install 2-3 Solar Fans that will pull air out. The one at Costo has a remote control that I can set and all that.

I would like an expert opinion on what is the most cost effective way to fix this issue. Thank you.

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Old 05-23-2013, 07:26 PM   #2
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Excessive HEAT in Attic


we need your location, and some pictures. This is a hotly debated topic. Ha Ha hotly, get it...

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Old 05-23-2013, 07:44 PM   #3
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Excessive HEAT in Attic


What are you stating is "excess heat"? All attics will get warm during the Summer months, warmer if there are no trees over them. Even with passive cooling, they can stay around 115-125. With active cooling, you can see temps low around 110-115, or even 90-110 with tall enough trees, to shade the structure, along with powered venting.
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Old 05-23-2013, 08:43 PM   #4
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Excessive HEAT in Attic


It goes above 150. Even in spring when it's nice outside its intolerable. The vendors who came in were soaking in the attic.

This is Western Kentucky.

Thanks for your concerns.
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Old 05-23-2013, 08:47 PM   #5
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Excessive HEAT in Attic


Our attic at home also gets hotter even with proper ventilation. I think its normal for attics to get hotter every summer.
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Old 05-23-2013, 08:48 PM   #6
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Excessive HEAT in Attic


Do you have soffit vents? Do you have a ridge vent/? Power vents may or may not be the answer. Without some pictures, you are just blowing hot air.
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Old 05-23-2013, 08:50 PM   #7
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Excessive HEAT in Attic


what type of ventelation do you have right now? Ridge vent? gable vents? soffit vent with either ridge vent or gable vent? Lets start there and work up.
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Old 05-23-2013, 09:45 PM   #8
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Soffit vents. I am not too sharp on technical terms but its the one that is located at the bottom of the roof, where it meets the floor. That's it. Don't have any openings on top. I am going to post pics later once I figure out a way to do it. Sorry if am being so ignorant but I appreciate the reassurance so far.
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Old 05-23-2013, 10:01 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by diyaz View Post
It goes above 150. Even in spring when it's nice outside its intolerable. The vendors who came in were soaking in the attic.

This is Western Kentucky.

Thanks for your concerns.
You need to figure out best ventilation before thinking about adding power vents. Pictures of the front, back, sides of the structure helps to show us what you are dealing with, along with a shot of the inside of the attic.

I do not have soffit's, so we had to go with vents along the ridge, and then they still did not help get the space down below 130, so added a power ventilator. It kicks on around 95 degrees. On a hot day around 98 with 70-86% humidity outside, our remote sensor up there, shows it around 110 when I get home around five at night, and will usually shut down around 7:30 to 8 on those hot days. It kicks on usually around 1-2 in the afternoon.

Normally if it is say 86 outside, the attic fan will shut down usually by 5:30-6 in the eve, and is around 92 when I get home at 5. Adding the remote sensor up there, allows me to watch the temps, so that I can better control the a/c. I use a Radioshack Weather Forecaster, that allows three remote sensors, but cur. only use two (basement, attic). Main unit sits on the end table where I sit, when I get home after work.

We just do not have the space at the bottom edge to add soffit's, so we have to "bandaid" the airflow fix. I still have to get up there and add baffles, which you may also want to look into, if you do not have them, so at least you can get whatever air to come up along the bottom edge up towards the ridge, to also help with cooling.
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Old 05-23-2013, 11:10 PM   #10
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Excessive HEAT in Attic


My attic fan has a 100 degree thermostat on it, and it's come on during a semi cloudy day when the outside temperature is in the 60s even, attics get hot.
You do need plenty of soffit vents. My house is a cross-gable, so it has 3 gables, one of them has the power fan, the other two have decent sized screen louvers to admit cooler air. I also added a continuous ridge vent.
I noticed a definite difference because my house never had soffit, or ridge vents, all it had was 3 screened louvers, but now with soffit vents I added, the ridge vent and the power fan I noticed the A/C if more efficient, and the attic heat "soak down" from the ceiling after sunset when the heat during the day penetrates the insulation is no longer there.
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:39 AM   #11
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Excessive HEAT in Attic


RWolff, add in the low humidity levels of attics, they make perfect preservation for mummies.
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:45 AM   #12
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Excessive HEAT in Attic


Soffit vents alone don't do any good. You need to add gable vents or a ridge vent. I'm not sure how you got a house with only soffit vents. Did you have your roof replaced, and the took away the ridge vent for some reason? You can add a ridge vent without replacing your whole roof.

Of course foam insulation on the inside of your roof, or reflective barriers, will work. But basic venting and airflow comes first.
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:02 AM   #13
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Excessive HEAT in Attic


If you insulate the underside of the roof it could reduce the lifespan of your shingles/roof material.
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:43 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
RWolff, add in the low humidity levels of attics, they make perfect preservation for mummies.
Perfect for preserving departed Mummies, and MOMMIES too depending on the particular homeowner and their circumstances
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Old 05-24-2013, 01:11 PM   #15
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Quote:
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If you insulate the underside of the roof it could reduce the lifespan of your shingles/roof material.
Correct (and usually you will void the shingle warranty). In the case of foam, you would have to install baffles first.

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