Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Scott, a student:

A homeowner wishes to insulate her attic with fiberglass insulation to conserve energy. The insulation comes in 40-cm-wide rolls that are cut to fit between the rafters in the attic. If the roof is 6 m from peak to eave and the attic space is 2 m high at the peak, how long does each of the pieces of insulation need to be? Round to the nearest tenth.


She wants to put insulation above the ceiling of the rooms below to insulate the living space from the attic.


Each piece of insulation needs to be twice the length |QR|. The length |QR| you can find using Pythagoras theorem.


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