Heat transfers very quickly through the air to the ceiling drywall; air has a high thermal diffusivity value of 21.33 mm2/s. A few more points: while heat gain through ceilings can be significant, especially in a house that has very little ceiling insulation, two other sources of heat gain are often more significant: heat gain through windows and internal heat gains from lighting and other appliances (oven, kitchen range, refrigerator, TV, etc.). I stand by my statement. In a climate with no heating requirements, don’t use a large amount of insulation; Past the first couple of inches, it doesn’t really help you very much because it stores more heat. If you don't have ductwork that's in use year-round, you need to add dedicated ducting and air handling for the HRV….
Are your windows old and bad and do they receive a lot of direct sunlight? Could there be any internal gains you're unaware of or not considering?
If your attic just needs a top up for maximum efficiency, we’ll help you there as well. Find your zone on the map and then use the above insulation R-value chart to determine the level of insulation you need to properly insulate your attic, walls, floors and crawlspaces.
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Knowing where to place mass is the other challenge, The chemistry is a big challenge. If you live in a warm climate, you require a lower R-value. DIY work involved. Response: do you open all the windows in the house when you set back the furnace? Input project size, product quality and labor type to get R60 Insulation material pricing and installation cost estimates. Look at the 3 day forecast, if it is going to be AC worthy turn it on and forget about it.
© 2000-2020 Home Depot Product Authority, LLC. What you are discovering is IMHO the dirty little secret of the American building science and energy retrofit industries: the pitfall of a better-but-not-perfectly-insulated house with low-mass construction.
Where a bang/bang 1-speed might save ~10% on energy use with setbacks, to be able to cool off the low-R high-gain house in a reasonable amount of time it has to be able to handle both the peak cooling load PLUS the amount of heat being radiated into the space by the over-temp thermal mass of all the stuff indoors, and the average radiation temp of that radiating stuff makes it less comfortable for the humans at any air temperature.
But that is what prompted this post - that now the house doesn't cool off overnight with natural ventilation. That's why even though radiant barriers at the rafters will reduce the peak attic temps in a ventilated attic, the energy use benefits of radiant barriers when there is R50 on the floor is in the statistical noise (less than the estimation error of air infiltration rates in most load calculations), and not cost effective. Need Help? can decrease the calculated capacity of these installations, and therefore generate a positive Energy prices go up by a factor of ten overnight! Maybe your A/C is on the fritz and it is not cooling like it did before and therefore you are running it more often? So thanks for setting me straight about air conditioner setbacks ("The temperature setbacks only save money on a low-R high-gain house only if the AC is a bang/bang 1-speed system.")
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