Why is my house so Hot!?!

Discussion in 'Insulation and Radiant Barriers' started by 269afemur, May 13, 2011.

  1. May 13, 2011 #1

    269afemur

    269afemur

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    Hey guys, I am new here and this is my first post.

    I was hoping someone here would be able to tell me why our house is so hot in the warmer months, not just in the summer. We have no shade trees, and most of the windows are on the North or South walls. We seem to get very little amount of breeze, maybe because we are in town and other houses are close by.

    It is typically much warmer inside our house than it is outside. The other day it was 65 outside but the thermostat said 75, and that was with the windows open. Of course the furnace is turned down to 55, but somedays it feels like it is still running because it is so hot inside. Even the basement feels hot when it gets really warm outside. We do have one ceiling fan that does seem to help a little.

    The house is about 900 square feet with no upper level, and was built probably in the forties or fifties. The overhangs are very small and there are no vents in them. There are three gable ends to the roof, and two have a vent in it. The vents are small, probably about 8x13 maybe. There are no roof vents. I am not sure how much insulation is in the attic. We do get some pretty big icicles in the winter.

    I am wondering if the attic needs to be vented better, and possibly more insulation? I know that would help with utilitiy bills and the icicles, but would it help with the heat inside the house in the warmer weather too?
    What about an attic fan, or some kind of radiant barrier?
    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. May 13, 2011 #2

    oldognewtrick

    oldognewtrick

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    Welcome to House Repair Talk. Yes you need to install ventilation and probably insulation. Ventilation will work as intake at the lowest point on the roof and exhaust at the highest. Call a couple roofing contractors and get a professional opinion of what will be required to provide a proper ventilation system.
     
  3. May 13, 2011 #3

    269afemur

    269afemur

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    Thats kind of what I was thinking. I am just wondering how to put vents in at the bottom of the roof when the soffit is so small. It's only about 5 to 6 inches. The weird angle and as close as it is to the house will make getting a saw or drill in there pretty challenging.
    Thanks for the input. Getting some professional advice is also a good idea since their estimates will be free.
     
  4. May 15, 2011 #4

    joecaption

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    Recommended Levels of Insulation : ENERGY STAR

    There needs to be soffit and ridge vents. No good way to tell you what needs to be done without a picture of what you have now.
    That whole area that you say is only about 5 or 6" could have been vented with vinyl soffit vents and coil stock on the fashias to hold it up.
     
  5. May 15, 2011 #5

    nealtw

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    If you remove the gutter you can get to the 1x6 soffit and change that to perfferated soffit and replace the gutter, put roof vents on one side of the peak and close the gable vents.
     
  6. May 15, 2011 #6

    joecaption

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    Not sure where nealtw is getting his info, but removing the gutters will do nothing, the gutters are mounted to the fashia not the soffit. The vents need to go in the soffit area.
    Rooftop, Soffit, and Gable Vents
    There's bunch of differant way to get venting into that area. If it's an old house with soild wood or plywood then using a self feeding auger bit that's 3 or 4" in diam. using a right angle 1/2 drill, you could just pop in some round vents in between each rafter bay. But you must make sure there's no insulation out over the soffit area in the attic that will block the flow of air.
     
  7. May 15, 2011 #7

    nealtw

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    removing the gutter just gives you room to work without wrecking the gutter.
     
  8. May 15, 2011 #8

    269afemur

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    What would be the best type of vent to put in the top of the roof? Ridge vents or the old style vents that are about 12 by 12. I would think ridge vent, but we are on a bgudget, and the old kind would be cheaper, and maybe quicker.

    Currently we have about 5 inches of blown in insulation in the attic. How much should there be? I was thinking of going with another 7-8 inches. Will the insulation help with the heat inside the house during the summer, or is that more what the vents will help with? Or maybe we need both to keep the house cooler in the warmer months.

    I was just thinkning to help with the budget, to do the venting now, and wait until fall to add in the insulation.
     
  9. May 15, 2011 #9

    nealtw

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    Cutting holes or removing soffit board will not help if every bay is full of blown in insulation unless you add airflow shoots and bats to hold back the blown in which would help with ice in the winter. For summer heat adding roof vents may help a little only if you move the gable vents to the lowest corners of the gables and create some crossflow.
     
  10. May 16, 2011 #10

    269afemur

    269afemur

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    I called a contractor today and he suggested a fan for one of the gable vents. He said these work well in situations where you have little venting in the attic, and will help to keep airflow moving and the attic much cooler.
    Does anyone have an opinion on this type of fan? Would it be a good way to go, or would the money be better spent on putting in actual vents.

    I should add that I am not even sure if I can put in soffit vents it's a very small over hang and it's all covered in aluminum coil so I can't see what I am going to be going through.
     
  11. May 16, 2011 #11

    oldognewtrick

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  12. May 16, 2011 #12

    nealtw

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  13. May 16, 2011 #13

    oldognewtrick

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    Neal, any power vent system will cavatate if you do not have adequate intake ventilation along the soffit.
     
  14. May 17, 2011 #14

    nealtw

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    I kinda think this is one of those houses built without a soffit board and actually has blocking between the rafters. I'm not sure there is a good answer for a tight budget.
     
  15. May 17, 2011 #15

    oldognewtrick

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  16. May 17, 2011 #16

    nealtw

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    I like that one!
     
  17. May 18, 2011 #17

    inspectorD

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    Ok, my 2cents,
    A few things to look for with the Smartvent to prevent serious trouble from icedamns.
    make sure that there is enough room at the framing of the bottom of the rafter for enough insulation.Do not pack it in.
    The other is make sure the venting at the top is good and open.

    I would remove any gable vents from the equation also.
     
  18. May 18, 2011 #18

    UnequivocallyM

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    I second this, one of the problems we've run into in our home as well as a family member's home was having the insulation jammed right down the rafters to the soffits, which was causing all kinds of trouble.

    Check to make sure none of the soffits have been boarded over (seen this in older homes before) from the attic side -- if they have you can either elect to remove the boards or drill ventilation through them. As a rule of thumb you should be able to see some daylight from your soffits inside the attic.
     
  19. May 23, 2011 #19

    Perry525

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    Lets look at this a different way!

    Your home is hot during the warmer months and cold during the winter because of the way it was built.

    I would guess that it is a typical light weight American home with a wooden frame that is joined to the roof and walls on one side and the comfort zone on the other.

    When the sun shines on the roof and walls the heat is conducted straight into the home.

    In the heating season the warm air in the rooms is conducted to the outside via the wood frame.

    I suggest you buy a Infrared temperature gun gauge and use it to read the temperature of the roof and walls. All you do is point it at whatever you want to measure and squeeze the trigger, the temperature shows instantly.

    Go round the outside of your home reading the temperatures, then do the same on the inside, this will pinpoint the places where the heat is arriving.

    Once you know the problem, the solution is simple.

    Either take off the outside of your home, roof and sidings, fit about five inches of polystyrene sheet over the frame and replace the roof and sidings, or take off the dry wall, install the polystyrene on the inside and replace the drywall.

    Either of the procedures will solve your problem, the outside solution is more work and will change the look of your home, the inside solution is less work, uses less material and will be cheaper and quicker and it will save you more money when heating or cooling your home.
     
  20. May 24, 2011 #20

    269afemur

    269afemur

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    I like the smartvent, but I am hoping not to have to put a roof on this house before we sell it.

    I have been thinking of a powervent. Has anyone used one of these?
     

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