If your home comfort and your wallet have seemed a bit under the weather this summer, you may be surprised to learn that your attic may be to blame. Adequate ventilation and insulation will allow you to improve your air conditioner’s efficiency and lower your spending.
Capable of reaching temperatures as high as 200 degrees, when your attic is spiking a temp, your whole house can become “sick.”
Why are attic ventilation and insulation needed?
As heat rises to your attic, it needs a place to escape from your home. Without adequate ventilation, hot air will continue to build up in your attic until it has no place to go except to radiate through your ceiling and back into your house. Your attic’s insulation is intended to act as a barrier to prevent heat from reentering your home. Without enough insulation, your air conditioner could end up re-cooling the same hot air multiple times. In this way, attic ventilation and insulation work together to keep your air conditioner running efficiently and effectively.
How can attic ventilation and insulation be improved?
Regularly check and clean your attic’s vents to keep them clear of clogs and debris. If you’re not sure if your attic is too hot, your roofing materials may give you a hint. Asphalt shingles are known to curl on their ends when an attic is overheating. Have an expert evaluate your attic’s ventilation; the installation of a simple attic fan can improve air circulation in your attic and extend the life of your roofing materials.
It’s also smart to work with an HVAC contractor to evaluate your current attic insulation. As a rule, you should not be able to see your unfinished attic’s floor joists beneath the insulation. Your contractor will be able to compare your current insulation’s R-Value (resistance to heat) against the R-Value recommended for New York by the U.S Department of Energy. If it is determined that you need more, your contractor will recommend how much insulation is needed, and what type will serve you best.
For more expert advice on attic ventilation and insulation, contact the professionals at T.F. O’Brien Heating & Cooling. We’ve been serving Long Island since 1934.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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