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There’s no getting around how enjoyable it can be to live in a home with a bonus room. These tend to be large areas in the home devoted to leisure and relaxation—game rooms, hobby rooms etc. They’re where you end up going when you need to destress and get away from the pressures of everyday life, and for many, they’re therapeutic. Unfortunately, they can also get so hot in the summer that they’re uncomfortable to hang out in.
So you think you’ve done everything you can to cool your upstairs bonus room, and it’s just not cutting it? The good news is that there is a solution, and it starts with understanding why bonus rooms get so hot in the summer in the first place.
Knee Walls: The Source of the Issue
In most cases, bonus rooms are located at the top of a home. These rooms often have what are called “knee walls” adjacent to attic space with fiberglass batt insulation in the framing. What happens in such a scenario is that extremely hot air is able to move around the batts, heating the walls which then radiate heat into the room. It’s not just knee walls that cause issues, however, but your garage ceiling as well.
Most garage ceilings feature insulation held up by wire staves to meet code minimums, but years of walking around in a bonus room atop the garage can cause them to dislodge and fall. What you’re left with is a complete lack of insulation beneath the bonus room floor. This causes the room above to get exceptionally hot in the summer and way too cold in the winter. Any solution that doesn’t address these issues will be ineffective.
The Benton Green Energy Approach
At Benton Green Energy, we deal with issues related to overheated bonus rooms all the time. Most of the time, it’s problems like those outlined above that cause discomfort, and the more we can do to remedy these issues, the better we feel about doing our job. With knee wall issues, we typically use an air barrier and additional insulation to solve the problem. Garage insulation failing? We dense-pack the floor, and the problem is fixed—it’s one of the most common requests we hear from customers during the summer.
My gas bill last month was $92! And that includes the cost of hot water -- last year it was almost $300 and the house was always cold! Thanks for doing such a great job.