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How to cool my upstairs?

I live in South Louisiana and my house is quite large 5500sqft with the upstairs measuring about 1600sqft. In the summer the upstairs does not get cool. The attic has the insulation that was used when it was built fiberglass pink stuff about 15 yrs old. My attic is also big. Any ideas on how to keep my upstairs cool.? add vents, more insulation, reflective barrier? please help.

Asked by Angelique Barrow
Posted Jun 6, 2014 5:59 PM ET

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1.

Angelique,
There are many aspects to the problem you describe. Ideally:

1. You need to make sure that there are no air leaks between your top floor and your attic.

2. You need to make sure that you have adequate insulation (at least R-38) installed without any voids. Fiberglass batts are the worst type of insulation for this application; cellulose is preferred.

3. You need to make sure that there are no ducts or HVAC equipment (like an air handler) in your attic.

It's probable that you have a leaky ceiling, insulation that is too thin and that is poorly installed, and that some of your ducts are located in your attic. Each of these problems needs to be addressed to improve your comfort and lower your energy bills.

Answered by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor
Posted Jun 7, 2014 6:35 AM ET

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