Settled Insulation

We have an old Ranch style house in South Texas that's been extended several times. Can't keep the house cool or warm without the central units running all the time.
1) The old part of the house has fiberglass insulation that the paper has dried out and the insulation has settled. Basically it's not providing enough (if any) insulating value. I've thought about blowing cellulose insulation in over the top. Roof pitch is only 3:12 and it's a bear to get anyplace close to the outside walls. Is cellulose any good? Am I better off having someone blow in fiberglass? Or should I try to stuff fiberglass bats out? Should I run them perpendicular to the ceiling joists or parallel so they can fill the void over the settled insulation?
2) Same story on the old walls. I'm sure the insulation has settled in the wall cavities. Aside from pulling siding or sheetrock down, how does one re-insulate and existing wall? Most of the exterior walls are plywood covered with the old shingles. Some is cedar board and baton. And a little is brick.
Utility bill is kicking our butt.
Thanks
--
Fredman



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Cellulose sux, particularly in hot humid cliimates. It will rot into grey dust.
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What zone are you, you say you do not heat or cool, have you had your unit pro cleaned and checked out? Blow in fiberglass , install plastic chutes so it doesnt block your roof, R 50- 70 is great , fiberglass settles 15-20 % and looses efficiency as it gets colder. New windows tri pane low E argon are best. Are your ducts insulated? Blowing in walls is work and repairing of walls. Google will help, there are many different types of wall insulation, maybe 6.
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How old and efficient is your HVAC equipment
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First off, I'm betting you're asking the wrong questions. If your A/C unit is properly sized to your structure, it should run a lot. One that kicks of soon is not right. This is one of those "some is good, but more is not better" things. Same for heat, but not as much. That is, if the heat or cooling is maintained. If not, then they are not up to the task, then there's a problem.
Next, the walls. If indeed, the Fiberglas batts have really settled, you've got bigger problems. But assuming they have, they have also lost insulative value by being more compacted. And the portions of walls with shingles on the outside mean that the vapor barrier is formed on the outside, so that in cold times, moisture migration will be stopped within the wall as condensation.
Ya know, if I were doing anything with it, I'd look to the roof first. I'm betting that it doesn't have enough ventilation. And that soffit vents, if they exist, have likely been covered over by attempts in the past to blow in insulation, if any is there now at all. If I were doing it, with difficult-to-work-in attic, I'd first ventilate the hell out of the roof. You need a square foot of venting for every 150 square feet of vented space for comfort, and if you have less than a square foot for every 300 square feet of vented space, divided between peak and soffit, your shingles warrantee is void. So get the roof ventilated so that no heat that makes it up there can stay. That way, you don't have a bubble of hot air radiating downwards into the living space and causing you to have to set the A/C to work longer for the same comfort level. Think something like that would be nice for cold times? Nope, it just encourages condensation in the attic. Next, the roof insulation. Consider going to the ceiling instead. Couple of inches of Tuf-R or whatever could get the job done, with a couple of inches cut off their sides and ends, cut down the middle, etc.and then 2x2's secured to the joists above. Then you could put in new drywall and reinstall ceiling lights. Get into the attic and insulate the tops of the wall spaces, where the foam wouldn't extend, and that serves as air paths out. If you have a few layers of latex semi-gloss paint on your walls and ceilings, you already have a good vapor barrier. If you've got paneling, you're screwed.
Hey, you're there, I'm here. But I hope I gave at least one thing to consider.

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