Insulating the attic is important both to keep your home comfortably warm and cool. During the winter months when we try to keep the house warm, we think about insulating the attic and whether more insulation would help. What we sometimes forget is the important role that attic insulation plays in helping to keep the home cool during the hot summer months.
Insulating your attic is one of the most cost-effective steps you can take to maintain comfort, conserve energy, and save money. The warm air that your heating system produces and the cold air that your air conditioning provides you like nothing more than escaping through our attics.
If you’re having trouble staying cool this summer without running your air conditioning system 24 hours a day, don’t overlook the possibility that the number one modification you should apply is adding insulation to the attic.
Incorporating insulation into the attic will not necessarily produce the comfort, energy savings, and lower utility bills that you are looking for. Like everything else in the home modernization business, only getting it right will yield successful results.
Here are 8 tips for adding insulation and succeeding in keeping your home cool.
1. First seal the roof with air:
Insulation slows down the transfer of heat from one side of the insulation layer to the other side. That’s good, the warm air from one side takes a long time to pass through the insulation and mix with the cold air from the other side. Insulation is good at slowing heat transfer, but not so good at slowing air currents, especially if air is passing through the insulation due to pressure difference, chimney effect, or prevailing wind.
Once the air currents pass through the insulation, some of the insulation value is lost. Insulation cannot do the job it was designed to do. Before insulating the attic, be sure to air-seal the holes in the roof. Air seal roof penetrations made by plumbers, electricians, HVAC, and chimneys.
2. Prewire the attic for current and future technology:
I have been to many attics and have seen the insulation destruction that takes place when every satellite dish installer, phone company jack, Internet provider, security expert, and exterminator finishes walking and crawling through the attic.
These people only care that you connect, they don’t care about your isolation. Once 6 guys in boots have marched around and flattened all that fluffy, loose padding, blown insulation, you don’t have a lot of R-values left.
If you get the chance, pre-wire the attic and get ready for the technology. If internet installers must access the attic, tell them to leave it as they found it. If you compressed it, fluff it up again before you leave.
3. Provide attic ventilation:
Believe it or not, an attic needs to breathe. Otherwise, it becomes oven. I am sure you know what I am talking about, you have experienced that the oven has affected numerous nights throughout your life.
It works like this:
It is a sunny day and the warm rays of the sun fall on the roof all morning and all afternoon. The attic space heats up, then heats up, then goes up in flames. Around 4 p.m., the fiery temperatures in the attic begin to radiate through the ceiling and add warmth to the living room. As the sun goes down, the house gets hotter and hotter.
Outside temperatures are cooling a bit, you open the windows and doors, but the attic is still cooking. With ice water next to the bed and a cool, wet washcloth on your forehead, try to fall asleep.
The City’s Building Departments will tell you how much ventilation to have for your attic. They will say you need that many square feet of open attic ventilation for every 100 cubic feet of attic space. My advice is to provide more attic ventilation than the recommended minimum.
What the heck, it makes up for the attic oven with lots of attic ventilation, the more the merrier.
4. Install the solar attic exhaust fan:
I have not found a single person who does not like the solar powered attic exhaust fan. This is one way to actually turn off the oven. Homeowners point out that the fans really help keep the attic from heating up the living space at night.
When the sun hits the solar panel mounted right on the fan cover, the fan begins to spin, pulling hot air out of the attic. The air is then replaced by cooler air that enters the attic along the underside of the roof. Oven air outlet, cooler air inlet.
5. Install solar light tubes:
Before insulating the attic and making the walk to the attic more difficult, why not install a solar tube or two and then add more insulation to the attic. Solar tubes are a great way to add natural light to a space that has no other light source other than a light bulb.
Popular places to install solar tubes are hallways, bathrooms, utility rooms, entryways, closets, garages, and kitchens. About the only place that doesn’t work well for a solar tube would be a room that you might want to be dark during the day. Like a bedroom for the person who works in the cemetery.
If you install a solar tube, be sure to air-seal the opening that allows the tube to pass through the roof. Seal the tube to the ceiling.
6. Electricity and light socket:
As you prepare to add attic insulation, it can help to add attic lights and an outlet or two. Not only does this help you during the insulation upgrade, it can also help the electronic guys when they invade your attic to give you the best HD picture available.
The light switch and outlet are located near the attic access cover.
7. Spray foam for maximum results:
The insulation that covers the attic floor is good for separating the indoor climate from the attic climate, but if you really have trouble keeping the attic from turning into a furnace, spraying foam insulation on the underside of the roof sheathing can be a problem. great benefit.
Spray foam insulation is more expensive than fiberglass or cellulose, but foam provides insulation protection at the source. By applying it to the underside of the roof sheathing, the heat transfer between the roof and the attic is significantly reduced.
8. Seal the attic access cover.
Most attic access covers just don’t fit very well. During a fan door test, the amount of air circulating through the cover is usually very noticeable. The smoke bar and infrared camera have little trouble quantifying the amount of leakage.
The way to air seal the cover is similar to a door weatherstrip. Foam or other flexible material is placed between the two adjoining surfaces. Now, the trick is to hook the cover to the roof in some way that slightly compresses the weatherstrip.
Don’t think of attic insulation as being better suited to cold North Dakota winds, attic insulation may well be your best secret weapon against having a broken air conditioner in Texas.
Done right, insulation can prevent the attic furnace from encroaching on the living space below. It can keep the bedroom cool enough that you can finally get some sleep.
Thanks for stopping by, hope to see you soon, but I won’t leave the light on …