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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi everyone:

I need some advice.
Now that we are entering the hot summer months (at least here is Dallas, TX), I took my flir one around and took some readings.
It is 74 degrees inside my home and about 97 outside.

I need help in figuring what needs to be done. More insulation?, etc....
I realize you aren't at the home and can't look around, but some general advice is appreciated.

In the spring I caulked the recessed lights from the inside, but obviously they are still getting baked from the attic.
The attic door needs to be sealed, I think;the thermostat is right below it on the wall.

I won't do any work on it in the summer months, but will in the fall/winter.

My dog is keeping the bed warm, hahaha.....

https://www.flickr.com/photos/ilzho/albums/72157667314473424
 

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How much insulation is in the attic now.
What type roof venting do you have?
Soffit vents?
 

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I had a company blow in 11 inches of insulation (R38) in the ceiling over my one car garage. Their minimum charge was $600 so I get $600 worth of insulation. They blew in more over the adjoning bedroom and bathroom. Dang sure is cool in that part of the house.

And the installer used spray adhesive and sprayed a layer of the insulation in between the steps of the folding ladder. My Thermostat is in the same place as yours.

Note that I also had previously insulated the outside wall of the garage and had an energy efficient garage door installed. Now my woodshop is cool and enjoyable to work in. 95 outside, 76 in the shop!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
How much insulation is in the attic now.
What type roof venting do you have?
Soffit vents?
I do have soffits, but not enough.
The roof venting is a few standard boxes. I thought about getting a ridge vent, and continuous soffit vents, but it's all a lot of money.

This is the first summer in the home since I bought it in Jan.
 

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The missing piece of information we need is the attic temperature. We are certain it is well above the outside temperature, let's guess 140°. Now, you are cooling a 140° attic with a low volume of 97° air. If that is the case, your results loo9k great.

IR cameras have a spread where they take the coolest point and make it blue and the hottest point and make it orange. But, those points can be close in temperature or far apart and still look the same in the image, thus the pictures look a bit scary.

What you want to conclude from those pictures is more from the patterns. If you have access to those spaces, looks like a vaulted ceiling, and can improvise an insulated fire rated cover for those lights they might improve. I don't know if those are IC rated lights or not. (IC = insulation contact). Should also be AT rated for air tight.

Tops of walls always look bad because there is limited space for insulation. Your ceiling needs well over a foot of insulation and the space above those walls, less the air gap for venting, may only be a few inches. Plus, there is no insulation on the outside of the double top plate, a terrible thermal bridge but little you can do about it after the house is built.

Bud
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks.
If I remember correctly when I was caulking some of the canister lights from the inside I did see that they were ic rated. I also know that there is no top over them, just insulation.
This afternoon I'll take a few readings in the attic and post them.
In some places in the attic I have 11" and others maybe 5-6 as I'm stepping on the attic joists support boards.
It is a vaulted ceiling.
I just don't want to spend unnecessary money.
Thanks!
 

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Nice picture just keep what you see in perspective. An example. I spotted an unusually cold spot just above and to the left of my front door. No one would ever know it was there, except ME. A month ago I had to do some repair work in that area so I went ahead and opened it up, repairing a big hole in the drywall is no harder than repairing a small hole, and I like drywall work. Found the offending spot, a 1/4" air gap where the rim joist was sitting on the top plate. Some caulking, new insulation, and with a few delays it is finally ready for paint. I'm proud of myself, but it won't make a bit of difference in the performance of my house. Only difference is in my mind that I now know it has been fixed. My camera only helped me create a problem that didn't need my extended efforts.

So, be careful not to tackle more than is really needed.

Bud
 

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Sorry, this time flickr wanted me to setup an account, I hate that.

Just tell me what the attic temp was with similar solar exposure the day the other images were taken. And if Flickr does it again when I revisit the first pictures, NOT.

Just so you know why I'm steamed. Flickr put up a screen labeled Yahoo already filled out with my personal phone number name and address and asked me to confirm the info. I don't frequently use that information on the internet so they or someone they subscribe to stole it off of my pc or it was Yahoo which will soon be deleted. Damn I hate all of the data collection.

Bud
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Sorry about that, I didn't realize it did that.
It's 160* on the roof line and 146* on the insulation.
I also included some pics of my unit....
 

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I suspect you have leaky recessed can lights and leaky wall top plates -- i.e. you have air flowing. Heat moves from hot to cold.

I would investigate both in your attic. I suspect you'll find the top-plates aren't sealed and that's what's causing the hot spots at the wall edges in your living room.

Sealing the top-plates is a DIY project. I would pick one section and seal it with Great Stuff foam, and then measure again with the FLIR camera.

Second step would be to check your recessed can lights for holes or air gaps. If you find they have holes all over then you can consider replacing with ICAT fixtures. (Insulation-contact, air-tight). This requires re-wiring, so probably a medium-level DIY project. To seal these, you want to use fire-rated caulking, not spray foam.

Some sample pics below showing before/after:




 

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Thank you and I don't blame it on you. Every time I turn around someone or some site wants me to fill in my information. My next pc will be registered to Joe Hickory from Pig Valley, Island of Nowhere.

Anyway, putting my sensitive nature aside, the lower temps look like they are near the ac ducts. If so, more insulation is needed. If very hot climates and I think yours qualifies, they install a radiant barrier directly to the bottom of the roof deck and even over the rafters. New construction will sometimes use foil faced plywood for the roof, foil facing the attic. Since warm air doesn't like to circulate down towards the attic floor, the only remaining path for that heat to get to and through your insulation is by way of radiation. Somewhere they sell just plain radiant barrier, no double bubble and you just staple or glue it up, late at night.

Bud
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yes, I thought about a radiant barrier, but this gets expensive. I can do it myself, but I would have to read up on it as I wouldn't know what I am doing.

I want to get canister covers for the recessed lights, again, it's just a matter of moving the insulation and sealing the cover. It's just hard to move around my attic, it's not very open.

Also need to tend to the ductwork as well. You can tell the sleeves have pulled back a little bit in some areas. When I moved in I mastic and used aluminum tape, which has worked very well.

I clearly won't do anything until the winter, because of the temps.....

Probably need to get new door sweep and seal it up well......

I'm just lazy right now, hahaha.
 

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The added bonus of feeling good about what you are doing is hard to put a price on and you have certainly been doing a lot of work :+1:
Technically, you started with a good home. You can not imagine what problems are out there and despite the massive efforts to weatherize and improve our housing stock, the buildings are declining faster than they are being improved. 10 years ago there was an extremely long list of work that needed to be done. Today, the list is longer and much of the fault lies with our government's approach to making improvements.

Keep up the good work.

Bud
 
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