I live in upstate NY and the past month has been terrible for cold weather.
I invested in some rolled insulation to put in my attic(there currently is
only the insulation that was installed 35 yrs ago..about 6 inches)...once I
got up in there, I realized when the house was built(1969) the builder only
put soffits on the west side of the house(the front) and there are none on
the east side(back) yet there is a gable vent at each end(N and S)and a
ridge vent....you definitely can feel the draw of air when your up there,
but my question is, "is this right not to have all sides of the house
vented"...should I look into installing soffits on the back side?
any input is greatly appreciated.
Are Ice dams a problem? Extra ventilation could help you with that.
Does your attic overheat in the summer. Extra ventilation could
help you with that.
Theres a formula for how much inlet vs outlet capacity, but as your
experience tells you, it is not critical.
First of all, it will depend upon HOW the insulation is applied. If
the insulation is placed over the ceiling rafters of the floor below,
soffit insulation usually isn't necessary so long as there are gable
vents. Where soffits and proper venting are critical is when the
insulation is placed between roof rafters. Then it becomes essential
(in moderate climates with extremes of hot and cold temps) to allow
venting above the insulation. This is most easily done with some
called "proper vent" or similar (I've probably spelled that
incorrectly). This allows a small air channel to run from the soffits
to the ridge above the insulation.
In your case, it doesn't seem like you need it. You will benefit most
from simply adding more insulation over the 6" layer you now have.
What might work very well is blown cellulose since it's cheap and
can't settle in wall spaces. Up here in northern NH (-20 today), I
used 12 - 14" of blown cellulose over 6" of fiberglass. Seems to work
Right, but my point was that if the insulation is in the ceiling
rafters, and there are eave vents, it really doesn't matter. Soffit
vents (and ridge venting) are a must if the insulation is in the roof
No. It certainly wouldn't hurt, but they're not necessary.
Ventilation has to occur over the cold side of the insulation and
that's provided by your eave vents. If it isn't enough, you can
improve it by adding an attic fan in one eave and enlarging the vent
or adding a second one in the opposite eave.
You can improve the efficiency of your insulation (increasing the "R"
value) by simply adding more insulation over the top of the existing
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