I think I have a serious problem with attic ventilation in my
two-story house. It has this wierd design in which the soffits are
actually lower than the ceilings by a couple of feet. Here's a link
to a diagram.
The whole perimeter is like that, with all the second-floor ceilings
having an angled section about three feet long that runs parallel to
the roof. As far as I can tell, the space between the ceiling and the
roof (where they are parallel) is stuffed with blown-in insulation,
completely blocking the soffit vents.
My question is how is this supposed to work? If I remove the
insulation that's blocking the vents, some of my ceiling will be
Also, is there any unbiased organization/person I can hire to look at
my situation and tell me what, if anything, I need to do. Obviously,
any company I hire to look at it will tell me I need work done and
that they are the best company to do it.
I appreciate any help I can get, as my electric bills are ridiculous.
Is it possible that there are styrofoam vent channels stabled to the
underside of the lower part of your roof that keep the insulation about an
inch away drom the underside of the roof and allow for air flow from the
soffit to flow directly against the underside of the roof? That is what
should have been done. Depending on the exact situation, they may be hard
Couple of questions, and pardon me in advance if they sound stupid or
First, have you taken temperature measurements of the attic vs the outside
air? High electric bills are not necessarily attic related. I
Second, is this particular soffet setup all the way around the house? It
looks a bit unusual to me, but then I am not an expert. Is this a northern
house, and is this some sort of Ice-Dam prevention setup? (I'm down in the
DFW area, and we don't have ice dam issues.)
Okay, three questions. What kind of ventilation do you have beyond the
soffets? Do you have ridge vents, power vents or Turbines, or perhaps none
of the above?
Thanks, guys, for taking an interest in my problem.
I live in Houston, TX, and my cooling bill is about 30% higher than
neighbors with similar sized homes, despite the fact that I have solar
screens and they don't. I have soffit vents and one powered fan vent
near the ridge.
I spoke to one neighbor and he says he can see the white styrofoam
channels in his attic. Another neighbor, with almost the exact same
floor plan and vent system as mine, can see light around the edges of
his attic. I see neither in mine.
If there are other things I can check to explain my high electric
bills, I'm game. Are there people I can hire to analyze my house and
figure it out?
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