30 October 2010

Status Saturday: The Attic

As I mentioned during construction, we opted for a "sealed attic," which means that the insulation (spray foam) is applied to the underside of the roof instead of the attic side of the ceiling. That puts the attic within the "thermal envelope," keeping the attic space within 5-10 degrees of the rest of the house, instead of allowing it to reach 130 degrees or higher like most attics in Texas. It also means that the air conditioning ducts are pumping cool air through a space that's just a little warmer than the space it's cooling, instead of wasting energy by pumping cool air through an oven. (Additionally, it means that any inevitable duct leakage stays within the thermal envelope.)

We also opted to use "attic trusses," manufactured trusses that were designed with spaces where flooring would be put down so we can store things up there. In our case, that translates to a space of about 8'x40' where we can store boxes, holiday decorations, extra paint, etc. And it's been an absolute godsend. So as we've been clearing out the exercise room and unpacking various things, it's been great to have the attic to hold...well, all of the stuff that goes in the attic.

So far we've just been stashing things anywhere we can find space, which has resulted in this:

And from the other end (standing by the HVAC unit):

Once we have more or less everything up there that is going to go up there, we'll strategize how to organize the space, install shelves, etc....but for now, there's a lot of messy going on in our attic.

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