Help insulating the converted attic of my 1.5 story cape cod : HomeImprovement

Hi r/HomeImprovement !

I recently bought a 1.5 story cape cod with a converted attic in South Eastern VA.

On a hot day, the upper floor (where my office and bedroom are) is usually 10-15 degree hotter than the downstairs, even with the AC is on.

My first thought is that maybe I need to add a second AC zone upstairs so that there’s a thermostat up there. This sounds fine, but I’d like to make sure my insulation is up to par as to not waste more money cooling than I need to. This would also help me determine is a second zone is even needed.

Here is a paint-drawing of how my house looks and how most of the insulation looks in the knee walls from what I can see:

Here are some of my main questions:

  1. Should there be insulation between living spaces? My hunch says no, and that you’d want the AC to be able to “leak” up stairs through the floor.

  2. If #1 is “no”, should I remove the insulation from the knee wall floors and place staple it between the rafters instead? I’m not sure if the rafters in the attic are insulated or not. Some definitely are in some spots, but I don’t have a great view of all of the rafters leading into attic.

  3. If #2 is “yes”, how will this effect venting of the inaccessible attic? I have two gable vents on opposite sides of the house, is this enough? or are the UN-obstructed rafters that I can see used in venting some way? I’m not sure if I have a ridge vent, not do I know how to tell ūüôĀ

I’d rally like to avoid tearing down all the drywall upstairs if it can be avoided.

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