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Old 04-16-2012, 04:18 PM   #1
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Heating and Cooling Problems w/ Add-On


So I bought my grandmother's old home a couple years ago. There is a room that was an add-on which was used as a sun room. It was built before she moved in about 10 years ago.

In the winter we freeze and in the summer we fry. I've identified a lot of the issues, i.e. door leading to backyard had gaps, wall and ceiling corners not properly sealed, etc.

I can fix all that, and am actually in the process. The room is filled with windows though, 10 in all. 3 on each side and 4 on the back. The room also faces the sun all day, no shade.

So here's the question. The ceiling/roof is not attached to the existing/original attic. It is added on and is extremely thin (maybe a couple layers of plywood with shingles on outside and a layer of drywall inside). The ceiling is hot to the touch from the inside. So my belief is that no matter how many cracks and holes I fill, a baking hot ceiling will continue to radiate the heat. Am I correct?

How can I fix this in the most economical way?

I use it as a home office, so the equipment overheating, plus my own comfort, are real problems.

I have two A.C.s running full blast (one window unit, one portable with hose carrying out hot air out a hole in the window which is fully sealed and insulated).

People who answer questions usually complain about not having enough info, so this is the reason for the long posting.

Thank you in advance for any help.

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Old 04-16-2012, 04:56 PM   #2
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At the very least,remove or open the drywall ceiling and put insulation in the ceiling.
Is there insulation in the walls?
Put insulation there too if not.
Any ridge vents on the exterior of the add on roof? Need them to get that hot air out of the ceiling.
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:40 PM   #3
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No ridge vents. The "new" roof pretty much picks up at the same angle as the existing roof (which does have ridge vents) veering out slightly so as to accomadate the space of the add on. Obviously if it used the exact angle the room would be less than half the size it is now. It also overlays the existing roof at the start point, but is not tied in in any way to the existing roof/attic or HVAC.

I doubt the three new walls have insulation as they are relatively thin. The wall that was tied into does. It is literally the old exterior wall. The wall is lined with wooden shingles and my only light used to be the exterior light as if on a back porch.

I will post a few photos tomorrow when it's light out.
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:34 AM   #4
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If there is no insulation at all in the roof adding some will help but it does not take much before you are higher than your windows which don't do much especially if they are single pane glass. In cooling application the insulation value of the glass tends to not be as important as the blocking the light. If you have double pain low E windows then there is little you can do. Blinds and curtains help a lot, the curtains will also help in the heating times of the year.
If you have single pain glass adding reflective film can help a lot. Be vary careful about applying reflective film to double pain windows it can damage the seal between the glass pains and void any warranty you have. They also make external window screens but these tend to be professionally installed.
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Old 04-17-2012, 11:25 AM   #5
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You might think about applying some reflective or sun-reducing film to those windows. You can get it either electrostatic or with adhesive. It comes in mirror like surfaces but also in colored tinted film.

You might also think about some interior storm windows for them to provide a layer of insulation less expensively than new windows. They are nice because they install from the inside.


Definitely insulate ceiling and walls to the extent you can. What is the floor situation? Is it exposed underneath or within a foundation wall?

Last edited by user1007; 04-17-2012 at 11:31 AM.
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:22 PM   #6
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You don't have an added on room. You have a closed in porch.

To get this space properly insulated and vented and then heated and cooled...
you'll probably be better off to demo it and start over.
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