How Should I control Attic Temperatures?

August 29th, 2012

The attic is a part of your house that you rarely visit. Consequently, you may never have asked yourself the question "how should I control attic temperatures?" However, did you know that 45% of the energy loss from your house can occur through your attic, which in turn makes your home too hot or too cold. You are forced  to bring out your air conditioner or heater more often, raising your energy bills. Insulate your attic One of the solutions for proper temperature control is insulation. In an attic without insulation, heat is conducted through the ceiling which in turn warms up the air near the attic floor. This air then rises up towards the ceiling, loses heat, sinks and is again replaced by more warm air from the floor. This is an unending natural process known as a convection loop. The question arises then – "how should I control attic temperatures"? Proper insulation is the answer as it breaks the loop by stopping or reducing the conduction of heat from the ceiling to the floor. Pay attention to hot and cold spots Attic bays, eaves and mechanical obstructions are the three areas where maximum heat loss can occur. Also there are usually small holes hidden in the basement and the crawlspaces. Convection currents carry heat inside or out of your house either making your house too hot or too cold. Properly seal the air leaks in these places to maximize the effect of your insulation system. Leaks can be sealed with caulks, weather stripping or foam. Many do-it-yourself guides are available on the Internet but ideally you should hire a qualified workman to handle the sealing project as this will improve the over-all comfort of your home. After all the holes are sealed, make sure you get your combustion appliances checked by a technician to confirm that they are venting properly. Choose the right kind of Insulation You have many choices here: fiberglass (batt and blown forms), cellulose, rigid foam board and spray foam. It’s better to take expert advice on this as the choice of insulating material depends upon the structure of the house, climatic conditions and number of electrical appliances used. Performance of an insulation system depends on its R value. Gaps or improper depths of vents will affect the thermal performance and reduce the R value. When you get your attic insulated, be sure that your insulating system delivers the same R value as is marked by the manufacturer. Other tips You can lay down vapor guards over your insulation to keep it dry. Make sure that you have proper ventilation as a stuffy attic will either trap the heat or cold depending upon the season. Power ventilators are recommended for keeping a continuous supply of fresh air but do find out more about their energy consumption before installing. With a little expert help and some proper research your question – "how should I control attic temperatures" will be well answered leaving you with a more comfortable house.