Older house: add insulation or radiant barrier?

I have a 1950's house, with about 3" of blown cellulose in the attic (I assume none in the walls). After two sequential $250+ heating bills, I decided to address the insulatory nature of the home. My question is, without the addition of a ridge vent, would those of you in the know recommend installing radiant barrier or blowing in another 8" of insulation (not fiberglass). The costs appear to be the same (or assume they are), and I can only budget for one. Assume I would be doing either of the installations. One additional question involves painting the roofs underlayment with a ceramic/metallic paint marketed for it's radiant and insulatory benefits. Thank you in advance. - Dan
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Painting the underlayment of a roof does nothing to stop heat from escaping through the ceiling and into the attic space.
A combination of ridge vents and soffit vents over a properly insulated attic (of either blown insulation or standard fiberglass batts) is considered by many ideal, however the old standby of soffit vents and gable vents is still acceptable.
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Thanks. You reaffirmed what I thought was the case. Dan
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snipped-for-privacy@infionline.net (Daniel Callahan) wrote:

If you have NO insulation in the walls and 3" in the attic, tou need to insulate the walls first.
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Really!? I would have guessed the greater benefit would have come from insulating the attic, as it now has somewhere around an R-10 rating.
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Heat rises, attic minimums are R35 wall minimums are r 14 for my area. Your walls also have dead air space which helps. Do the attic first thats where most of your heat loss is
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Agreed. THanks
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