I am in central Texas and am looking to add insulation to my attic. My house is very old so I am pretty much starting from scratch as there is virtually no insulation.

So far from what I have read and understand, I need to add FACED insulation between the rafters as I am practically installing insulation for the first time. Now the question is, do I place the facing towards the ceiling below or upwards towards the roof? I have seen conflicting information. Some say that the vapor barrier ALWAYS faces towards the living space, while others say that the vapor barrier should go to the space that is hotter on average throughout the year. In my case, I air condition probably 95 percent of the time, so if that's the case, I should point the vapor barrier up.

Am I reading wrong information? Or is there a consensus that I missed? Thank you!

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    I'm not sure I'd use a vapor barrier at all. A house that old might do better if it's left to breathe.
    – isherwood
    Jun 25, 2018 at 20:58
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    Use un-faced batts or blown in insulation in the attic to allow drying to the attic side. Any vapor barrier should be good primer and paint on the living space side of the ceiling. Jun 25, 2018 at 21:39

1 Answer 1


Any good paint on ceilings eliminates the need for vapor barrier. As far as which way to face a barrier if your climate is hot most of the time and you have air conditioning then face toward living area (ceiling) since inside air is cooler than attic. I.e. a cold glass of tea sweats on outside of glass. But my field experience says vapor barrier towards attic is a moot issue. Since you (should) have at least 8 inches attic insulation and that R value will buffer any temp exchange before it gets to ceiling material. Even on the walls I've never seen any mildew or evidence of excessive sweating due to lack of vapor barrier. I have seen such with rain leaks. Maybe in much colder climates walls would need a barrier.

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    BTW don't fool with batts, Use blow in, much cheaper and much better coverage overall. Check with your City or County, sometimes you can get a rebate on the cost if you put in sufficient inches of insulation as it's an energy efficient green thing.
    – RWB
    Jun 26, 2018 at 17:33

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