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I live in Atlanta, GA and am considering installing AtticFoil. I have a large home and am trying to compute the energy savings and payback period if I invest in attic foil. My existing electric bill averages $468/month in the winter months when NO AC is used. Therefore, all other months I'm figuring the excess over $468 is due to AC, which in my case is $2,082 annually. My understanding is that most of the energy savings comes from saving on AC and that while attic temps may be reduced by up to 40% only 25% of the AC load is due to the loss of cool air through the ceiling. Therefore, .40x.25= a 10% annual savings or, in my case $200 plus whatever savings I get from reduced heating costs. Am I correct with these assumptions?
Trying to predict savings from installing radiant barrier is kind of like nailing jello to the wall. Here are just a few variables that make predicting savings a challenge: geographic location, size of home, number of stories, shape of home, air infiltration, sun exposure, shading, condition of HVAC system, window exposure, lifestyle, etc. The list can go on and on...
I'm building a new home in souh georgia where the summers get really hot and humid. From what I have read on line I can see that a ridge vent with vented soffits is probably the best way for me to go as far as attic ventalation. Do you agree with that? And what insulation do you recommend?
Without knowing the exact specifics of your attic space and home, I can tell you that many, many people choose to use a combination of soffit venting with a ridge vent. It's a good system ant it requires little to no maintenance. As far as insulation up in the attic - I recommend a radiant barrier closest to the roofline and then either traditional fiberglass or cellulose insulation on the attic floor, between the joists up to the recommended level for your area. This is the most common way to do a vented attic.
I live outside Prescott, AZ. New construction vaulted ceilings everywhere with 16" deep TJIs. I was thinking of using 1/2" EPS foam board with the foil face up against the truss top web (bottom of) which would leave a ~2" air gap between foam and OSB roof deck. Soffit to ridge vent would channel through this air gap. Directly below and touching the foam would be R-49 fiberglass batts. Drywall would be at attached to the bottom of the TJIs and contact the fiberglass batts and would also create an air barrier. I'm guessing I would should leave a small gap between the foam board panels so I'm not creating a second air barrier? Is it going to be an issue with fiberglass not having an air gap? Seems to me the R value would be improved from the foil face on the foam (radiant barrier benefit) and and less wind washing on the fiberglass but I don't know if I should be concerned about moisture buildup. Thanks, -Adam
Adam - this approach sounds great for a cathedral ceiling! The gap between the foil on the foam board and the OSB will be enough space for the foil to reflect back any radiant heat coming off the OSB and stop it from going further. The fiberglass will slow down any conductive heat too. If you really want to kick it up a notch, you can add ANOTHER layer of (regular) foam board before you add the drywall and you'll be good to go! You can see my demo of this install method here: https://atticfoil.com/index.php/applications/inside-exterior-walls-hotmixed-climates/
In reading your "About" section you mention "I also have knowledge and experience working on new construction projects that are either very high performance or near-zero energy usage." I would enjoy your expertise on this. How about a new section for new construction?
Thank you for the suggestion - I will keep it in mind for future development of this blog. I appreciate the feedback!
I have about 7 inches of batting insulation over 1700 ft.² home, the garage area which is approximately 500 ft.² has zero insulation. Would you just add radiant barrier to all of it? Or add radiant barrier and blown in fiberglass insulation? I am limited on funds and could possibly do one or the other, which would you recommend? I live in Corpus Christi Texas.
A home needs both r-value insulation AND radiant barrier. If you're on a budget, I'd recommend starting with stapling the radiant barrier up on the rafters first. Then, when finances allow, come back and add the r-value on the floor of the attic.
Re: Foil wrapped bubble wrap and windows Thanks in advance for answering this. I saw question 83 regarding foil wrapped bubble wrap for insulating windows against heat loss from the inside. My questions are: 1. To keep the heat out, cool in, does the foil wrapped bubble wrap need to be on the outside of the window? 2. If it can be on the inside of the window should there be a space between it and the glass or can it be pushed against the glass and be just as effective? I was thinking perhaps, maybe, the bubble wrap is what provides the space? 3. Regarding products such as Warm Window Insulated Shade System http://www.warmcompany.com/wwtech.html that has a barrier inside it, do you think it is the thickness of the material and it being sealed against the wall that is doing the work or is the product really doing something special? Thanks again.
1. No, it can be on either side.
2. It can be pushed up against the glass.
3. They aren't clear on the layering and I don't see testing on this product. For windows, it's best to go with a tint-like product to preserve the light.