My attic is finished; 3 rooms, wood floors, plaster ceilings. I've gotten conflicting advice: some say insulate the floor, others the roof. The attic will not be used as living space. There are no heating ducts in the attic. Any advice?

  • Hello, and welcome to Stack Exchange. A simple diagram might help us better understand what you're talking about. – Daniel Griscom Jul 1 '18 at 19:17
  • No heating ducts into the attic. Are there flues from furnace and water heater passing through the attic spaces? Where is this--country, city? – Jim Stewart Jul 1 '18 at 20:42

A new 2-story house under construction in my neighborhood has under roof insulation--spray on open cell foam. The builder told me he expects the attic temp to be about 85 F on a 100 F day. The natural gas fired furnace and tankless water heaters will be in attic space and will get combustion air from outside through vents. I can see the water heater vents in the roof and these are the concentric type where the exhaust flows out the center and the combustion air comes in through the annular space. I assume the furnace will be the same. The house also has a natural gas "fireplace" on the first floor and I must assume the flue is designed and performs appropriately.

I asked him about retrofitting an existing house using that same foam sprayed under the roof decking. He said this is not advisable because air flow and exchange is restricted in the attic in that system and restricting airflow in an attic designed and built for airflow can lead to code problems and performance problems.

His concern was the exhaust flue systems for natural gas or other combustion furnace and water heaters in an open attic house are not rated to be sufficiently tight for a restricted attic. Carbon monoxide (if produced) could leak from the flues and build up in the attic.

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