Have you noticed the ceilings located directly below your attic space being warm to the touch? If so, it’s a sign your attic insulation and ventilation need to be addressed. Hot air and heat energy are always trying to move into cooler spaces. If your attic insulation and ventilation aren’t sufficient, heat in the attic will radiate or move downward into your home via its structural components or air leaks.
Here are ways to keep the accumulated heat in attic spaces from creeping into your home.
Upgrade the insulation. Verify the R-value of your attic insulation. This should be written directly on the insulation bats or will be listed on the manufacturer’s information for loose-fill types. Our area falls close to both Zones 3 and 4. Upgrading to Zone 4 will further enhance insulation properties.
Is your insulation adequate? Sometimes, the insulation R-value is sufficient but there isn’t enough insulation to do the job properly. Your insulation levels should come to approximately one inch below the top of the floor joist. You should not see any noticeable gaps or holes in insulation. These can be common when after-market electrical work has been done. Consider hiring an electrician to pre-wire your attic for future upgrades so your insulation can remain as undisturbed as possible.
Seal the leaks. Is excess hot air in attic spaces able to seep into your home via unsealed penetrations or a poorly sealed attic hatch? Sealing leaks is a simple and affordable fix that prevents warm attic air from getting into your living space and will improve energy efficiency.
Attic ventilation. If you keep the attic from heating up in the first place, there will be less heat to invade your living spaces. Call your local building department to find out how many square feet of open attic ventilation they recommend per 100 cubic feet of attic space. Is your current ventilation adequate? If not, consider adding a little more than the recommended amount for added efficiency. Solar powered attic exhaust fans are a cost effective way to keep your attic temperatures in check through the summer months.
For more information on reducing heat in the attic, please contact us at Ross & Witmer. We’ve provided superior HVAC installation and service to our Charlotte area customers since 1945.