The bonus room over my garage is extremely hot

Linda P
by Linda P
How can I fix this room so it is livable? The access to walls is very limited so I am not sure how to add insulation. What steps can I take so this room is not so hot?
  3 answers
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Aug 20, 2012
    do you know if the ceiling is insulated? this is the place to start. If the room has a cathedral may be hard to check or fix. I did some work in an apartment last week where is seemed pretty hot considering the coolness outside. This place was built in the 70's and the main living space is a great room with large exposed beams, 2 x planking is set over these beams then roof ply and insulation at all. Hot in the summer and a heat waster in the winter.
  • Jennifer rizzo Jennifer rizzo on Aug 20, 2012
    Holmes inspection just covered this for the cold. It wasn't insulated enough from the underside. Also airflow and venting are super important because heat rises and cold sinks.
  • Linda, Bonus rooms over garages as well as 2nd floor rooms oftentimes suffer from overheating in summer and cold in winter. There are several things that can be the issue here. Some of which Jennifer spoke about, and a few that were not. One must remember that any room over a garage is exposed on all six sides. So of course insulation there is critical. Oftentimes even if you have enough insulation you do not have proper air sealing. The reason foam insulation works so well is that, besides having a higher "R" value per inch then fiberglass, it stops air flow. Air flow robs the ability of the insulation to do its work properly. So you do not always need extra insulation. Proper air sealing with caulk to prevent the air from moving through the walls, ceilings and floors goes a long way to making the room more comfortable. Air supply is another. Even if the HVAC installer sized the ducts correctly for the load profile of the room, there are great heat gains if the ducts are placed outside of the insulation or within the heated attic or garage space. So it is critical that the ducts be super insulated or brought back into the conditioned space. So before you add any insulation, I would suggest that you get a home energy audit performed by a certified BPI audit professional. He or she will use a blower that puts the house in a negative pressure to simulate a 20 MPH wind hitting the house on all sides. While the fan is running they will then evaluate the home and find where the air is leaking in or out and show you ways to save hundreds of dollars a year on energy just by sealing. The benefit of this it will also provide you with the proper methods on how to correct the issues that you have so you do not waste time or money doing the wrong thing. Insulation is not always the answer.