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INSULATION INSPECTION & IMPROVEMENT
ACOUSTICAL SEALANT CHOICES
AIR LEAK MINIMIZATION
ASBESTOS IDENTIFICATION IN BUILDINGS
BASEMENT CEILING VAPOR BARRIER
BASEMENT HEAT LOSS
BUCKLED FOUNDATIONS due to INSULATION?
CATHEDRAL CEILING INSULATION
CATHEDRAL CEILING VENTILATION
CEILINGS, DROP or SUSPENDED PANEL
DEW POINT TABLE - CONDENSATION POINT
DUCT INSULATION, ASBESTOS PAPER
FIBERGLASS PARTICLE CONTAMINATION
FIBERBOARD INSULATION SHEATHING MOLD
FIBERGLASS INSULATION MOLD
FIREPROOFING ASBESTOS SPRAY-ON
FRAMING DETAILS for BETTER INSULATION
FRAMING DETAILS for DOUBLE WALL HOUSES
FRAMING METAL STUD PERFORMANCE
FREEZE-PROOF A BUILDING
HEAT LOSS in BUILDINGS
HEAT LOSS PREVENTION PRIORITIES
HEAT LOSS R U & K VALUE CALCULATION
HOUSEWRAP AIR & VAPOR BARRIERS
HOUSE DOCTOR, how-to be
HUMIDITY LEVEL TARGET
ROOF ICE DAM LEAKS
INSULATION AIR & HEAT LEAKS
INDOOR AIR QUALITY & HOUSE TIGHTNESS
INSULATION FACT SHEET- DOE
INSULATION INSPECTION & IMPROVEMENT
INSULATION MOLD TEST
INSULATION R-VALUES & PROPERTIES
LEED GREEN BUILDING CERTIFICATION
LOG HOME ENERGY EFFICIENCY
MOLD in FOAM INSULATION, RESISTANCE
MOISTURE CONTROL in BUILDINGS
NOISE / SOUND DIAGNOSIS & CURE
RIGID FOAM USE INDOORS
SHEATHING, FOIL FACED - VENTS
SLAB INSULATION, PASSIVE SOLAR
STAINS on & in BUILDINGS, CAUSES & CURES
STRAW BALE CONSTRUCTION
STUCCO WALL METHODS & INSTALLATION
STUCCO OVER FOAM INSULATION
SWEATING (CONDENSATION) on PIPES, TANKS
THERMAL EXPANSION CRACKS in BRICK
THERMAL IMAGING, THERMOGRAPHY
THERMAL MASS in BUILDINGS
THERMAL TRACKING Indicates Heat Loss
TRUSS UPLIFT, ROOF
VAPOR BARRIERS & CONDENSATION in BUILDINGS
VENTILATION in BUILDINGS
WALL CONSTRUCTION BARRIER vs CAVITY
WIND WASHING INSULATION at EAVES
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
Attic insulation quantity guide: this article discusses the comparative benefits of placing more insulation in a building attic than in building walls, and the comparative benefits of adding ceiling versus wall insulation for cathedral-ceiling areas.
Accompanying text is reprinted/adapted/excerpted with permission from Solar Age Magazine - editor Steven Bliss.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2015 InspectApedia.com, All Rights Reserved.
The link to the original Q&A article in PDF form immediately below is followed by an expanded/updated online version of this article.
The question-and-answer article below paraphrases, quotes-from, updates, and comments an original article from Solar Age Magazine and written by Steven Bliss.
Sketch (left) showing recommended building insulation levels for North America is courtesy of Carson Dunlop Associates.
Is it Still Necessary to Insulate the Attic More than Building Walls?
Buildings have always had more insulation in the attic than in the walls or below ground level. This I believe is due to warm air rising. With the advent of airtight construction and mechanical ventilation with heat recovery, is it still necessary to insulate the attic more than the walls?
I believe that pre-fab homes imported in Sweden have equal R-value insulation around the entire building shell. This sounds like the logical way to go. -- Philip Cyr, Sunrise Technologies, Caribou ME
Why We Put More Insulation in Attics than Walls of Buildings?
First, in older insulated homes, air near the ceiling may be as much as 10 degF. hotter than air at the floor. So the rate of heat loss was [and may still be] greater at the ceiling.
Our photo (left) show how simply observing uneven snow melt on the roof of an older home can indicate areas of uneven building insulation, air leaks, or other causes of heat loss.
The second reason is that after the first 4 to 6 inches of insulation (in 2x4 or 2x6 construction wood framed walls), it is a lot cheaper to add insulation to the ceiling (see our page top photo) than to the walls (where added framing or other tricks will be required).
So up to a point, extra insulation is most cost-effective in the ceiling.
In a well-insulated home, the first reason may no longer be valid [depending on how heat is distributed in the building] since there may be very little temperature difference from floor to ceiling.
[This is true, at least in theory. But even a "well insulated" older home where an insulation retrofit has been extensive, may have air leaks and unexpected temperature variations.
Field measurements made during building inspections using infra-red to compare temperatures at floors, bottom of walls, center and top of walls, and ceilings, can still find surprising variations in temperatures even in some new, well-insulated homes
The second reason, though, still holds as long as you can cheaply stuff insulatin into your attic. [Just don't block attic ventilation intake at the building eaves or you may, while adding attic insulation, also create an attic moisture problem in some buildings.
Should we Add Insulation to a Cathedral Ceiling?
In buildings where idoor air temperatures are found to be uniform, floor to ceiling, then cathedral ceilings are an exception to the building insulation quantity and placement logic discussed just above.
Once the space between the rafters of a cathedral ceiling has been filled with insulation
or where no more insulation can be added in a catheral ceiling without blocking its ventilation design, then the incremental cost of adding insulation to the cathedral ceiling is comparable to adding insulation to the building walls.
Improving the R-Value of Cathedral Ceilings
In both cases, where the total R-value of the building walls or cathedral ceiling are considered inadequate, rather than costly framing changes, we often laminate a layer of 1" or 2" high-R solid foam insulation on the ceiling and/or walls, covering the new layer with drywall.
But even this approach is more trouble than first meets the eye: Electrical outlets, switches, windows, doors, trim all need to be built-out to cover the edges of the new insulating material. --DF
and THERMAL TRACKING
The question-and-answer article about the comparative benefits of adding attic insulation or cathedral ceiling insulation versus wall insulation in buildings, quotes-from, updates, and comments an original article from Solar Age Magazine and written by Steven Bliss.
Original article in PDF form:
Continue reading at BLOCKED SOFFIT INTAKE VENTS or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.
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