Q. In summer, will insulation retain the heat after the outside temperature falls, thus radiating the stored heat back into the house? I once owned a home in which this seemed to be the fact, especially on the second floor. I want to add more insulation to my present house. We do not have air conditioning nor do we feel the need of it. Thanks to substantial tree shade we are able to have a cool house during the summer by keeping the house closed during the day and opening the windows in the evening when the temperature drops. Jack Frost Andrews Lawrenceville, N. J.
A. Standard insulation may hold a little heat for a short time at the end of the day but the amount and duration are negligible.
That other house perhaps indicated: (1) inadequate attic or wall insulation, or (2) poor attic cross-ventilation. Hot air rises. It is thus natural physics for the second story to be warmer than the first.
To properly insulate your present dwelling, get in touch with a couple of reliable insulation contractors. Ask them for an on-site inspection, followed by a written proposal for insulating the place, showing the cost, material, locations, methods, R-factors, and the like.
Get a third bid if the first two vary widely in price and scope. Accept the proposal that you feel right about even if it is not the lowest in price.
Light-colored or white exterior walls will reflect summer solar rays and help keep the house cooler, supplementing those friendly shade trees that shelter the house. Of course, drawn drapes in the daytime and open windows at night are other practical means for beating the heat.
Summer sprinkling of lawns, shrubs, and trees around the house at the end of the day also wafts cooler air into the dwelling.
I wouldn't worry a minute about commercial insulation doing anything but good for your comfort inside the house, be it a Jack Frost winter or an Andrews sum mer.