The attic is an imperative part of most homes. Not only is it a key factor in the home's construction, but it also provides extra storage, which is beneficial for most homeowners. Unfortunately, the attic can also be a huge source of energy waste because certain construction issues can lead to air loss. As a matter of fact, experts believe an estimated 25 percent of heat loss occurs through the attic. This loss of conditioned air not only affects your family's ability to stay comfortable, but it also leads to an increase in heating and cooling costs. Thankfully, you can improve the efficiency of your attic with a few updates. Here are a few ways your attic is wasting energy and costing you money.
Improper Air Sealing
The attic is not a conditioned living space, but it should still be sealed properly to reduce air loss.
In the winter season, warm air inside your home will be pulled towards the cooler outdoor air through the attic. This loss of heated air will make your home colder, increasing your need and the costs associated with heating your home.
On the other hand, the summer season causes issues, as well. An improperly sealed attic allows heat and humidity from the outside to come inside the home. This excess of heat and humidity will cause your air conditioner to run longer in an attempt to cool your home. Thus, cooling your home will become more expensive.
Sealing up even the smallest cracks and openings in your attic can decrease air loss, conserve energy, and save you money on your heating and cooling costs. Use caulk or sealant to close up any cracks around the attic door, windows, chimney flashing, vents, and other openings in the attic construction.
Because your attic is not a conditioned living space, you may not place much emphasis on insulating this space, even if you use the attic for storage. Since insufficient insulation in the attic is also a common source of energy loss, waste, and high-energy bills, you should consult a specialist to determine if you have an adequate amount.
If you live in an older home, your insulation may be have been installed to meet the standard buildings codes that were set years ago. Current building codes do require homes to be built and insulated in a specific manner, helping reduce air loss and conserve energy. Additional insulation or a different material may only need to be used to bring your home up to current codes.
If your home does need new insulation, opting for the most efficient option is smart. When selecting the right insulation, focus on the R-value, which represents its ability to resist heat loss. Basically, the higher the R-value, the more efficient the insulation is.
There are many options available including traditional batts that are installed in sheets. These are sufficient in most cases, but they are not usually capable of insulating abnormally-shaped areas and openings.
Spray foam is one of the best types of insulation, since it can be directed into all cracks and crevices in the attic. In addition, spray foam is ideal for insulating around the system and ductwork used for heating and cooling. Speak with a professional at companies like All Weather Insulation to learn more.
The loss of air is not ideal for energy efficiency, but poor ventilation can also be problematic in your attic.
Improving ventilation in the attic is even more important if you live in warmer climates. Ventilation helps air circulation, which reduces moisture while preventing humidity issues and the risk of mold growth.
By sealing, insulating, and ventilating your attic, you can conserve energy and save money on your heating and cooling costs.