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Attic insulation next step to properly wood heated home?

Post in 'The Green Room' started by bsa0021, Dec 10, 2009.

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  1. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    I've got a trussed attic and I still went with r30 batts. I've been in too many attics, rolling around in blown-in insulation. I friggin' hate the stuff.

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  2. bsa0021

    bsa0021 Feeling the Heat

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    I'm going to go with r30 rolls on top of my blown in insulation. Pretty much anything I put up there will be better than what I have now. Thanks for the Info!
  3. ihookem

    ihookem Minister of Fire

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    Yes, Stephenmoore, I have 4" of closed cell foam in the walls. I have the rim joists sprayed in the basement also. That really helps alot. In the attic between the 8" energy saver trusses I have it foamed shut except for the vents. between the trusses. I also have 20" of cellulose in the attic. I do not have an air exchanger in the house yet. I might have to get one though. I do have outside air intake going to the cold air duct in the basement and don't think it's enough. My windows get moister on them real fast and front door is starting to stick. I have been running the bathroom fans every day for a while and that helps. Later, ihookem.
  4. benjamin

    benjamin Minister of Fire

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    I'm with Jackpine, before you think about adding more insulation, you want to pull the existing insulation back and caulk or foam every penetration through your cieling, including where the drywall butts against the top plate on all walls. This will do more for you than adding insulation, especially fiberglass which filters air instead of sealing it.

    On quick and dirty jobs, I've sometimes put down a vapor barrier over the existing 2x4-6" cieling joists and insulation and then added cellulose on top. Not kosher to some, but as long as your vapor barrier is within the interior 1/3 of the wall you're good. That's method is only for old impossible to seal plaster homes, if you have clean drywall it's much easier to get an effective seal. Obviously that's only for homes with a clear span in the attic, no trusses, and knock the chimneys down first, oops did I really say that here?
  5. stephenmoore

    stephenmoore Member

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    Yeah, I hear you, foam is the way to go. I would definitely add an air exchanger to the equation, it will really help with the moisture in the winter. My house is 50 years old and I foamed it all and the air exchanger pulls a lot of moisture out and keeps fresh air coming in which is nice, I notice my allergies seem better too. Good luck.
  6. stephenmoore

    stephenmoore Member

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    Hey Sting,
    I didn't realize your system was active. I think you are not supposed to cover knob and tube with any type of insulation. Do you have any plans to replace it? I saw an add at an electrical supplier last year for a company still selling all of the old porcelain fixtures. It was quite an art installing that stuff. Having removed lots of it, it's always still tough and solid all these years later. I wonder if our current building methods will stand up to time as well. In Canada the electrical code states that any panel upgrade or signifigant re wire requires the removal of old knob and tube. Merry Christmas.
  7. ihookem

    ihookem Minister of Fire

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    Stephenmoore, I thought a few weeks ago why my son is having a hard time breathing and it dawned on me about allergies. He has them and athsma. The breathing problems stopped until I moved into a house that was foamed. Since the windows started getting moisture on them he has been having some problems.
  8. stephenmoore

    stephenmoore Member

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    Yeah, I know this is only anecdotal, but my four year old sleeps better at night and hardly ever gets sick since we got our house up to spec. Fresh air or a steady supply of it is hard to beat. Makes sense that you'd need one as the foam stops almost all air movement. just gotta remember to clean the filters every summer.
  9. CarbonNeutral

    CarbonNeutral Minister of Fire

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    You're welcome - my upstairs has been fantastic - no heat up there so far this year with the stove. It is noticeably warmer - temp just doesn't drop off, even in the early hours as the stove temps drop. The GreatStuff is key as well..
  10. Sting

    Sting Feeling the Heat

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    I don't believe its prudent either with active knob and tube -- but that's what I have in this project. I was going to get an electric leaf vac and pull the blow in fluff away - a section at a time ( I have to pull up the attic floor bards to do it ) - spray about one inch of DIY foam down - then replace the fluff back over.

    I bought the house with an nice 200 amp service and the kitchen rewired - but there is a 1 inch conduit from that to the original tube fuse center - and there, the modern wire is simply soldered to the old to run the remainder of this little place.

    So yes I currently have active wire buried in blow in insulation - and its been like that for more than 20 years.

    Suggestions???
  11. stephenmoore

    stephenmoore Member

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    Sting,
    I guess I would take the long monotonous route of removing and re doing the wiring. I suppose it's been that way for a long time but I'd still be a little nervous. Have you had any trouble with insurance ? I know it's existing but I wonder if they would ever find a way to weasel out of your policy coverage because of it being buried? There is no fast or easy solution but with it gone you could do a safe and thorough job of the insulating.
  12. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    Knob and tube is one of the safest wiring methods ever devised, problem being its old, old old. Think of the high voltage over your heads on the poles, its all pretty much knob and tube.

    That being said, that old wiring should come out, and romex incorporating a ground should be installed.
  13. s10truggy

    s10truggy New Member

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    If you have moisture problems in a well insulated house your HVAC is over-sized not running and taking moisture out of the air.
    If you have 2 units run one at a different setting so it will do most of the work and run longer.
    you will not need an air exchanger unless your house is very small, even a foam house will leak air from windows and doors, fart fans, walking in and out.


    Cellulose spray will out preform fiberglass in every application, batts are like using a blanket with holes in it LOL
  14. stephenmoore

    stephenmoore Member

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    What do you mean by running two units ? Fans or HRV's ? I don't think I've ever heard of a house with two HRV's. What do you mean by a small house, 1200 sq.feet ?
  15. Estarrio

    Estarrio Member

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    I lose a lot of heat to my non-insulated drop down attic stairs. I live in a split with no garage, so I need to be able to access the attic for storage.

    I had been thinking about the attic tent as a solution...has anyone tried this? Is there a cheaper way to insulate/seal the stairs while still being able to access the attic all winter?
  16. woodsmaster

    woodsmaster Minister of Fire

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    + 1 on the cielings
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