12:47PM | 11/10/05
Member Since: 11/09/05
1 lifetime posts

I have dual heat pumps, 1 in the attic and 1 in the basement. My question is how do I insulate the attic to be the most enery efficient?

The house is 3000 sq ft., built in 1970, with ~5 in of blown in insulation in the attic. There are 3 square 12" roof vents cut in along the south face of the roof and none on the north side. However, the previous owner had heating wires on the rain gutters on the none vented side.

Since the heat pump sits in the attic and it looks like there have been roof ventilation problems, I'm not sure how best to insulate the heat pump.

I am aware of the "cold roof" design which should stop the icing problem caused by the lack of air along the underside of the roof. However, in the winter the heat pump is in the unconditioned space of the house and will really have to work hard to heat the 2nd floor.

I've thought about either wrapping the heat pump and flexible ducts (already insulated) with more insulation. Also, I've considered building a an insulated knee wall and ceiling around the heat pump and octopus-like ducting system to create a semi-conditioned space for the heat pump and ducts and still allow the roof to be cold to prevent ice dams.

The heat pump is a few years old and has an energy efficienct rating.

Also in the summer the attic is very hot. There is no ridge vent and I really don't want to cut one in. There are gable vents with a fan on one end. The roof is a standard pitch and has asphalt type shingles.

I've thought about a whole house fan to draw out the hot summer air. However, the loose insulation is not covered by plywood, so I'm concered that it will blow around.

So, what's the best solution? What do I do about the heat pumps, ducts and ventalation?


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