09:04AM | 02/07/02
Member Since: 07/23/01
3 lifetime posts
I live in a 1928 craftsman bungalow. Our upstairs consists of a landing, some closets, a spare bedroom, and attic crawlspace on either side of the living areas.

In the summer the upstairs gets extremely hot. We do have central air, but only one vent goes all the way upstairs, so it does not provide enough A/C. A window unit helps, but I am looking for some things to help keep it from getting so hot in the first place. I don't think that installing a new A/C vent is an option, at least until I have exhausted all other ideas.

We only have a few roof vents, so I would like to put some more vents in (maybe 3 on either side) to help let the hot air escape. The roof hangs over the house about 6" on either side, but I noticed that there are no open vents underneath these eaves. Are those vents critical for increasing the airflow out of the attic? I had one contractor look at the attic, and he did not recommend putting them in, but I was under the impression they would be very helpful.

Secondly, the insulation in the attic is extremely old. In fact, it looks like it is simply newspaper stuffed between the joists. Would ripping out the old insulation and putting in newer insulation help our problem or make it even worse?

Our heating bills in the winter and A/C bills in the summer are not expensive, which leads me to believe that our insulation (while old) is still working fine. So I am wondering if replacing the insulation is worth it if it won't help with the heat in the summer.

Any thoughts, suggestions or comments would be greatly appreciated.

Jay J

11:13AM | 02/07/02
Member Since: 10/26/00
782 lifetime posts
Hi bsill,

Consider soffit vents in combination with ridge venting. Both can be installed after-the-fact.

What happens is the 'cool' air enters the attic space via the soffit vents (which are installed BETWEEN the roof rafters on the underside of the eaves), flows up along the UNDERSIDE of the roof sheathing, and out the ridge vent. It's a natural way to cool a roof.

The installation of fans and even gable vents may make matters worst. My best to ya and hope this helps.

Jay J -Moderator

PS: God Bless America!


12:59PM | 02/14/02
Member Since: 06/03/01
324 lifetime posts
Sounds like you need a 'radiant barrier'. You can get some that are sprayed on the underside of the roof (like paint) or various materials that are installer over or between the rafters. Of course, you will also need good ventilation in the attic space.
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