Question on Staycool or similar products in attic insulation

Air conditioning, fans, and anything related to keeping it cool, such as insulation. This would include any posts generally discussing how to keep it cool, such as which types of blocks are better insulators.... ideal wall thickness for keeping an A/C house cool, etc.

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Question on Staycool or similar products in attic insulation

Postby frankieboy37 » Wed Nov 30, 2016 11:43 am

I am preparing to lay a thermal insulation material and arrange a radiant barrier above my ceiling for two upstairs rooms in order to assist in reducing heat that permeates down from the attic. I am aware that some kind of solar reflective paint (IRCC) on the roof and also air ventilation would either be helpful or very helpful (but these two communal items would be subject to discussion with and permission from the landlord).
The two items of thermal insulation and radiant barrier over my living space I do have permission to proceed with.
I note that in various forum threads the “Staycool” product available at HomePro, for example, is frequently mentioned and recommended. This product across the full range appears to be always encapsulated in an aluminium foil. If you already have an aluminum foil radiant barrier isn’t this foil wrapping on the thermal insulation material redundant as a radiant barrier?
If that hypothesis is correct (and as it is a hypothesis maybe it isn’t) what would be the purpose of the foil and wouldn’t regular fiber-glass insulation (or the like) suffice. If that is the case does anybody know where a regular thermal insulation product could be obtained because nearly all the insulation products I have seen in Thailand (Udon Thani) seem to come integrated with a radiant barrier which is something that should be quite separate from the insulation and specifically an air space of at least one inch should be maintained between them.
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Re: Question on Staycool or similar products in attic insula

Postby Andyfteeze » Thu Dec 01, 2016 5:14 pm

I can only confirm what you have discovered. If thats all that is available, go for the thicker 150mm batts. NEVER say no to extra insulation.
The advantage of the aluminium wrap is that dust doesnt fill the fiberglass over time and rats cant nest in it.
The disadvantage is that we have to pay for aluminium wrap when plain batts would have sufficed. Be extra carefull when laying the batts in the roof, make sure the power is removed to ensure the installers safety. You just cant guarantee the integrity of any thai electrical cct. Our place is only 3 yrs old and the electrician was a family friend. Light cct tied to power ccts upstairs because the ahole couldn't be bothered to run an extra cable. ( going to do major surgery on this ). You just dont know if any cables are exposed, literally.
I dont know where you got your info on 1" spacing.
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Re: Question on Staycool or similar products in attic insula

Postby frankieboy37 » Sun Dec 04, 2016 8:59 am

Thanks for the feedback Andyfteeze. You made some very welcome additional points.
My 1” gap reference was a figure I took from one particular site I read, I cannot remember which one. The precise figure of 1” is not important of course. That there is a gap is the important thing such that conduction does not take place. For example here is a quote from https://www.radiantguard.com/pages/radiant-barrier
“No matter how you plan to install a radiant barrier, it MUST have at least one air space of at least 3/4 of an inch on either side to be effective at BLOCKING radiant heat. It does NOT matter which side of the radiant barrier the air space is located. The purpose of the air space is to prevent conductive heat transfer.”
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Re: Question on Staycool or similar products in attic insula

Postby Sometimewoodworker » Sun Dec 04, 2016 5:46 pm

frankieboy37 wrote:I am preparing to lay a thermal insulation material and arrange a radiant barrier above my ceiling for two upstairs rooms in order to assist in reducing heat that permeates down from the attic. I am aware that some kind of solar reflective paint (IRCC) on the roof and also air ventilation would either be helpful or very helpful (but these two communal items would be subject to discussion with and permission from the landlord).
The two items of thermal insulation and radiant barrier over my living space I do have permission to proceed with.
I note that in various forum threads the “Staycool” product available at HomePro, for example, is frequently mentioned and recommended. This product across the full range appears to be always encapsulated in an aluminium foil. If you already have an aluminum foil radiant barrier isn’t this foil wrapping on the thermal insulation material redundant as a radiant barrier?
If that hypothesis is correct (and as it is a hypothesis maybe it isn’t) what would be the purpose of the foil and wouldn’t regular fiber-glass insulation (or the like) suffice. If that is the case does anybody know where a regular thermal insulation product could be obtained because nearly all the insulation products I have seen in Thailand (Udon Thani) seem to come integrated with a radiant barrier which is something that should be quite separate from the insulation and specifically an air space of at least one inch should be maintained between them.


Don't forget that to be an efficient radiant barrier the material should be close to (or in contact with) the underside of the roof. If you have it on the top of the ceiling then it is more properly described as a reflective barrier.

The vital point of a radiant barrier is that it is extremely poor at radiating heat. I've documented a reduction in surface temperature of greater than 20 degrees C using it correctly silver side down under a roof.
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Re: Question on Staycool or similar products in attic insula

Postby Andyfteeze » Mon Dec 05, 2016 7:37 am

Thats quite a sales pitch from that reference, hehehe
There is a flaw in the sales pitch, but i wont get too bogged down in details. Technically its correct but in practice it will have mnimal effect here in thailand if you use the 150mm. You have other issues to deal with which are more significant, like dust ,vermin, poor electrical installs , very light weight ceiling structures and a very limited range of insulation products. How you get the 1" separation in thai roof structures has me puzzled too. Its a compromise of sorts, but i cant see how its that critical. The foil cover is a very low mass so it will absorb very little energy, yes it will conduct this heat over its full area but its gotta be far far less than the full 50-60degrees in the roof space, and thats assuming the fiberglass inside has no effect.
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Re: Question on Staycool or similar products in attic insula

Postby frankieboy37 » Mon Dec 05, 2016 11:02 am

I am a bit more puzzled (and uncertain) overall due to the last posts from Sometimeworker and Andyfreeze and would welcome additional clarification from them (or anybody else of course).
I realise it would be best to try and explain my particular circumstances. The situation is that I live in a block of 6 two-storey town houses. The rooms are 2 up and 2 down. The attic (above the typical light-weight aluminium frame ceiling with approx. ¾ inch thick plasterboard-type panels) runs through gable-end to gable-end with no ventilation (opening up with ventilation grates in the gable ends and/or whirly-gig type arrangements near the roof ridge is going to be an important question to ask the landlord when I have a proper plan in place)
Because the attic space is communal and I do not want to insulate that entire communal area I was considering installing another (suspended/false ceiling about 18” to 24” (there is plenty of space) below the existing ceilings of my 2 rooms then placing a layer of insulating fiber-glass (Staycool?) on top of that new ceiling. I would naturally like to also install a radiant/reflective barrier for an additional heat-reduction benefit. I understand that for it to be most effective I would have to attach it to the entire roof space (i.e. above all 6 dwellings) alternatively I was thinking of placing it between the proposed new ceiling with fiber-glass layer and the existing ceiling in other words only above my rooms and contained within the walls of the rooms.
In the light of the other posters comments am I right in thinking that the aluminium barrier I propose would reflect/radiate heat back up into the attic to some extent? Naturally if I can get that agreement from the landlord for ventilation then so much the better.
If my idea for a barrier has some mileage, then it can only be placed horizontally either nearer the fiber-glass layer or nearer the existing ceiling. Alternatively, it could be placed, again horizontally and presumably with an adequate air space, in the attic above the existing ceiling but that would be open to the wider communal attic. Which would better?
There is the additional notion that if I use the Staycool product to lay above the new ceiling because it is aluminum foil encapsulated does that offer some form of radiant/reflective assistance or is that merely to be regarded as a protective layer to keep out unwanted detritus, insects and animals?
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Re: Question on Staycool or similar products in attic insula

Postby Sometimewoodworker » Mon Dec 05, 2016 2:46 pm

Take a look at the thread http://www.coolthaihouse.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=4476 for an exhaustive (and exhausting :roll: ) discussion on the subject, then if you still have questions you will have different ones.

You will see that I get up to 24 degrees C drop in temperature with very little effort or cost
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Re: Question on Staycool or similar products in attic insula

Postby Andyfteeze » Tue Dec 06, 2016 11:59 pm

At the end of the day, you are over intellectualizing the problem and trying to construct elaborate mechanisms to fullfill something you read about in a brochure.
Having foil 1" away from anything is going to end in tears. Just roll out the staycool blankets ontop of the ceiling. Provide ceiling ventilation above it . The reality is there is no other option thats practical in your situation.
Another issue you have to deal with is down lights. They require clear air around the fittings, which means you have to cut holes in the insulation around them. If you dont, they will get very hot and blow or cause a fire.This puts a very big hole in the performance of the insulation. My get around is to jettison the down lights and put round flat LED lighting. The base covers the hole nicely and the thermal blanket sits nicely on the ceiling. Global currently have a special at 390bt a pop.
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Re: Question on Staycool or similar products in attic insula

Postby Sometimewoodworker » Wed Dec 07, 2016 5:59 pm

Andyfteeze wrote:At the end of the day, you are over intellectualizing the problem and trying to construct elaborate mechanisms to fullfill something you read about in a brochure.
Having foil 1" away from anything is going to end in tears. Just roll out the staycool blankets ontop of the ceiling. Provide ceiling ventilation above it . The reality is there is no other option thats practical in your situation.
Another issue you have to deal with is down lights. They require clear air around the fittings, which means you have to cut holes in the insulation around them. If you dont, they will get very hot and blow or cause a fire.This puts a very big hole in the performance of the insulation. My get around is to jettison the down lights and put round flat LED lighting. The base covers the hole nicely and the thermal blanket sits nicely on the ceiling. Global currently have a special at 390bt a pop.

No problem on the downlighting, I'm just bringing in about 20 :? (All LED's in my case)

Or put LED bulbs in the downlight fittings. You can even put in dimmable ones.

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Re: Question on Staycool or similar products in attic insula

Postby Andyfteeze » Wed Dec 07, 2016 6:50 pm

yep, thats the way around the problem for sure.
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