Thursday, February 9th, 2017 by William Dornblaser
Cathedral ceilings open vistas that flat ceilings just can’t match. They became popular in the 1970s and 1980s and remain a desirable feature today. The dramatic views, however, have come at a cost. Because rafter widths limit the amount of insulation builders can install, these ceilings often waste energy and money.
Upgrading the insulation in a cathedral ceiling, however, is a challenge. If you look behind the drywall (or tongue and groove boards) on your cathedral ceiling, you’re likely to find a thin layer of fiberglass bat insulation, perhaps a flimsy vent baffle, and an air channel designed to vent hot air from eave vents to ridge and gable vents. The fiberglass has probably degraded, due to moisture that has condensed on it over the years. In addition, the roof framing may show signs of rot and mold, which results from moist air leaking through openings in the ceiling, such as recessed lights or the joints in tongue and groove ceilings. This air has been condensing on the rafters, ridge board, and decking, winter after winter.
What can be done?
The least invasive approach to improving the performance of a cathedral ceiling is to seal it, along with the rest of the room, to stop heat loss by air leakage. This entails removing recessed lights (you can replace them with surface-mount fixtures, such as track lights), and sealing every crack and joint you can find. Air leaks also occur at receptacles and switches, junction boxes, pendant fixtures, baseboards, windows and doors, pipes, ducts, and wires, and skylights.
Adding more insulation
If an inspection reveals that your ceiling is not well insulated, you can opt to blow in an insulating fiber material. The best version of this available today is our own Dr. Energy Saver trademarked TruSoft™ blown in insulation. Made from newsprint and treated to resist fire and pests, TruSoft™ is economical and effective. A technique called dense-packing allows cellulose insulation to double as both a conductive and convective insulator (air seal). Unlike fiberglass, through which air flows with relative ease, dense-packed TruSoft™ cellulose resists air flow – along with all the moisture and heat the air is often carrying. To learn more and to see how TruSoft™ can help you, call 1-607-821-0519 today for your no cost, obligation-free evaluation!
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