i just bought a house the 2nd floor of which is a converted attic. it
hasn't gotten above 50 here in RI and already the attic heats up pretty good
... probably due to the two freaking skylights, so come 70 degree weather or
better, i'm going to be sweating bullets. i don't have central air and i
don't relish putting a window a/c up there (but i will if i have to). that
being the case, what can i do to cool things down? put film over the
skylights, but what kind of film is best? i don't think the attic has ridge
vents or whatever; will putting those in help in any appreciable way? what
about an attic vent fan?
anyway, the attic is going to be my office, so i'll need to do something.
any suggestions would be ggggreatly appreciated.
What is above the attic? Any space at all or just the roof? It should be
insulated if it is not already and yes, ridge vent will help. Skylights
will add some heat and you can get a better idea if you compare sunny versus
cloudy days and night versus day.
What kind of heating system? Is the hot water circulating even though the
thermostat is not calling for heat? I've seen th at happen from gravity
getting a flow going as the heated water seeks a higher altitude.
IMO, you will need some AC in the summer anyway, but I'm a wus when it comes
to the heat.
If it's a finished attic, then I presume its just ceiling drywall,
rafters with insulation followed by the roof? If that's the case,
there should be a means for hot air to exit at the top, usually a ridge
vent. There should be continuous soffit vents under the lower roof.
If they did that right, then there is hope. But the final thing needed
is air channel baffles which should have been placed below the
sheathing, before the insulation was applied. That keeps a path open
for the air to flow. If they didn't do the first two things right,
there is little chance they put the baffles in. And if they didn't,
the insulation will fill the space, giving you no air flow. It's also
not unusual for these conversions to be done with only existing 2X6
rafters, which leaves too little space for the right amount of
Tinting on the sky lights will help cut down heat from the sun. I've
seen DIY kits at the home centers or you can have it done
professionally. But I'd have to agree with Edwin, that in RI in the
summer, I think you'll want A/C, especially on an upper floor.
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