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Old 03-27-2008, 06:13 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Windstorms only occur once or twice a year here. spending $1 to replace ripped or missing foil would be cheap and pay for itself - or so i'm considering.
our current roof is indeed a "normal shingle" pitched roof.

Attic ideas: nothing will work there. The attic space is so small that even the home inspector couldn't get into it when we bought the house. (with a pitch of about 15 - 20 degrees, and only 536 sq ft. there is of course not even enough room to crawl up there.) so this counts out alternate insulation techniques. if i'm correct then we only have blown insulation up there - i can't picture anything else. And i know already there is no way my wife would consent to a fan in the vents - that's just up the electric bill.

I'll look into the paint idea.
I'm also considering mirrors. (boy, that would be so evil to the neighbors! )

and Frank Lee - you've made more smart ass remarks in my posts than i can recall.
I just thought I'd point that out to you before you really begin to annoy me. I know that a civilized and intelligent individual such as yourself would be sure to prevent that from occurring.

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Old 03-27-2008, 07:31 PM   #12 (permalink)
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What color are you shingles? light colored shingles stay cooler, and because they stay cooler they last longer, and keep your cooling bills lower, you can also get white roof paint, it's normally used for flat roofs, and would look mildly tacky on a pitched shingled roof, but it would last and not blow away, you would apply it most likely with a roller.
You can get solar powered attic fans, they are easier to install because you don't have to run a wire to them, they only come on when it's sunny out and they vent more then attic vents without fans, but the non fan vents are another option, simply making sure that your roof has enough vents at the ridge, and at the eves.
Also make sure that your attic does have insulation! I've seen some stupid stuff done in warmer states, lack of insulation is one of the biggest, a housing inspector might have just been looking for roof leaks.
I would NOT staple foil to your roof, the staples will destroy your shingles, creating 10,000's of tears in your shingles, and the foil will be gone in a week or two, if you really want to put tin foil on something put it on your cars roof, shinny side up, using contact adhesive, I did this with my glass sun roof and it helped keep the car much cooler, it's now painted silver.
Steel roof stay much cooler then asphalt, and the attics of houses with steel roofs tend to be cooler as well, although anything put in the sun will get warm, a glass of water will get warm, even hot if put in the sun, a steel roof will also last 100+ years if installed correctly, and it can be recycled and you will be paid for it, asphalt shingles need special disposal permits in most civilized states.
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Old 03-27-2008, 09:26 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Here are some ideas, although many of them might not be practical. Hopefully they'll serve at least as a mental exercise for what is possible.

In order of most practical to least:

* Swamp Cooler
* Increased attic insulation
* Paint roof white
* Solar Chimney
* Earth Cooling Tubes
* Green Roof
* Roof Pond

Some of the neatest ways of keeping warm in the desert have been around for centuries, the windcatcher:

Windcatcher


I get the feeling that houses could be designed better if you left a monkey alone in a room with a pen and paper. It's amazing some of the ridiculously poorly thought out buildings architects churn out around the nation.

"Oh, so you want a home in the mountains...how about a ranch style? Oh, the desert...how about a ranch style?"

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Old 03-27-2008, 10:04 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I put a fan on my roof and it really doesn't do much for the electric bill. Maybe 50 cents a month at worst. But it makes a huge difference in the house temperature. I went from running the a/c a few hours a day to only running it when it gets really hot a couple of times a month. It doesn't get as hot here (WV) as you get though but I am sure it will help reduce your a/c load way more than the small amount of electric it uses.

I would also paint my roof white or chrome plate it if I lived in AZ
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Old 03-27-2008, 11:00 PM   #15 (permalink)
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If the foil strips traps moisture below them you could end up rotting your roof. Maximizse the ventilation of the attic and if you redo the roofing get shingles that will dazzle the neighbors.
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Old 03-28-2008, 04:06 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Yes, a radiant barrier would work, however, I would use aluminized polyester (space blanket) instead of foil. In my humble opinion, I would abandon the idea alltogether. To much work for something that will rip off in a short amount of time. (not to mention looking like crap)

Instead...Insulate, Insulate, Insulate. Payback in all seasons.

You could also go with the radiant barrier idea in the attic by stapling alum. poly. to your rafters (assuming it is a stick built with enough room to work).

An attic fan as previously mentioned would do wonders. I am also going this route as soon at it warms up. They make solar powered ones, so no wiring, and feels good putting up pv.

Better yet, go to www.builditsolar.com This is one of the absolute best sites on the internet. I visit it just about daily and have implimented several projects listed there. Tons of info, ideas, DIY, FREE. >Check it out.
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Old 03-28-2008, 09:11 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LostCause View Post
Some of the neatest ways of keeping warm in the desert have been around for centuries, the windcatcher:


- LostCause
That is the coolest thing I have seen in a while! It always amazes me that humans have historically had such a level of ingenuity even when they can't properly describe the natural events happening...

I've always thought it would be cool to design my own house that is partially in a hill or mountain. Some areas waste so much simply by living above ground.
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Old 03-28-2008, 01:21 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GenKreton View Post
I've always thought it would be cool to design my own house that is partially in a hill or mountain. Some areas waste so much simply by living above ground.
I totally agree, not to mention it looks like hell too. I think a low-polluting lifestyle includes low visual pollution... The mountain idea reminds me of Rod Rylander. While he may be living a more rustic lifestyle than you imagined, he offers good points on mountain-living. Or you could go to the other end of the spectrum and build a house like Bill Gates.



Personally, I wouldn't mind a half-submerged berm home...hobbit-like. Heavily modified earth-ship comes to mind, with an urban vegetable garden. Totally off the grid, totally sustainable, but still in suburbia/urbia would be awesome. 1/5 - 1/4 acre...but now it's just a mental exercise. Quite a bit different from the average dream of a mcmansion, I suppose.

- LostCause

Last edited by LostCause; 03-28-2008 at 01:36 PM..
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Old 03-28-2008, 01:28 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I've liked the idea of a green roof ever since i saw it on "Extreme Home Makeover". I could save some money on the implementation by building my own roof units and save money on watering by sending my brown water up there.

but it would still be expensive to implement, which is why I'm considering a foil or mirror covering on the roof.

Today i went outside and measured the peek of the roof. From peek pitch to cealing it's only 18 inches. from the front of the house to the peek it is 138 inches.


________________|18 inches_________________
138 inches. . . . . .| . . 138 inches

i don't know how many degrees that is, but it's very low pitched.

Ok, so staples may tear the roof. but there's always adhesive. I'm afraid that adhesive would melt in the hot sun. out here I've used duct tape on my car. during the summer time that would only last a week or two before the glue melted off in the heat.

also, there is the possibility of finding reflective paint - but i expect that will be more expensive.

wind doesn't scare me. Just layer it like you do the shingles and keep it tight enough down so that the wind won't be able to get under it and lift it up.

The thought here isn't to block the sun from hitting the house, or to absorb the heat at a higher level, but instead to reflect the heat and sunlight it before it even hits the shingles.

And moisture shouldn't be a problem - it's a VERY dry heat out here. people get nosebleeds because of how dry the air is.
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Old 03-28-2008, 01:28 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LostCause View Post
Personally, I wouldn't mind a half-submerged berm home...hobbit-like. Heavily modified earth-ship comes to mind, with an urban vegetable garden. Totally off the grid, totally sustainable, but still in suburbia/urbia would be awesome. 1/5 - 1/4 acre...but now it's just a mental exercise. Quite a bit different from the average dream of a mcmansion, I suppose.

- LostCause
Wow, that Earthship thing is totally cool! Thanks for linking

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