Attic Insulation – 8 Tips To Keep Your Home Cool With Attic Insulation
Insulating the attic is important for both keeping your home comfortably warm and cool. During the winter months, when we try to keep the house warm, we think about attic insulation and if more insulation would help. What we sometimes forget is the important role that attic insulation plays in helping to keep the house 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. Nothing likes the hot air produced by your heating system and the cold air provided by your air conditioner more than to escape 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 retrofit you should apply is adding attic insulation.
Insulating your attic won’t necessarily deliver the comfort, energy savings, and lower utility bills you’re looking for. Like everything else in the home remodeling business, just getting it right will produce successful results.
Here are 8 tips for adding insulation and succeeding at keeping your home cool.
1. First air seal the roof:
The insulation retards the transfer of heat from one side of the insulation layer to the other side. That’s good, it takes a long time for hot air from one side to get through the insulation and mix with cold air from the other side. Insulation is good at slowing down heat transfer, but not so good at slowing down drafts, especially if air is pushed through the insulation due to pressure difference, stack effect, or prevailing wind.
Once air currents pass through the insulation, some of the value of the insulation is lost. The insulation cannot do the job it was designed to do. Before you insulate the attic, be sure to air-seal any holes in the ceiling. Air-seal roof penetrations made by plumbers, electricians, HVAC and chimneys.
2. Prewire the attic for current and future technology:
I have been in many attics and have seen the destruction of insulation that occurs when all the satellite dish installers, phone company jacks, internet providers, security experts and exterminators are done walking and crawling through the attic.
These people only care about plugging you in, they don’t care about your isolation. Once 6 guys in boots have walked through there 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 tech-ready. If internet installers need to access the attic, tell them to leave it as they found it. If you compress it, fluff it again before you leave.
3. Provide attic ventilation:
Believe it or not, an attic needs to breathe. Otherwise, it becomes an oven. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about, you’ve experienced the effect of the oven numerous nights in his life.
It works like this:
It is a sunny day and the warm rays of the sun hit the roof all morning and all afternoon. The attic space heats up, then heats up, then burns. Around 4 p.m., the scorching temperatures in the attic begin to radiate through the ceiling, adding heat to the living room. As the sun goes down, the house keeps getting hotter and hotter.
The outside temperatures are getting a bit cooler, you open the windows and doors, but the attic is still cooking. With ice water at the bedside and a cool, wet washcloth on your forehead, try to fall asleep.
The City Building Departments will tell you how much ventilation your attic should have. They will say you need as 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.
Heck, offset your attic furnace with lots of attic ventilation, the more the better.
4. Install Solar Attic Exhaust Fan:
I haven’t found a single person who doesn’t like their solar powered attic exhaust fan. This is one way to actually turn off the oven. Homeowners indicate that fans actually help keep the attic from heating up the living space at night.
When the sun hits the solar array mounted right on the fan shroud, the fan begins to spin, drawing hot air out of the attic. The air is then replaced by cooler air that enters the attic along the underside of the ceiling. The oven air leaves, the cooler air enters.
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 in the attic? Solar tubes are a great way to add natural light to a space that has no 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 want to be dark during the day. As 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. Light and electricity socket:
As you prepare to add attic insulation, it may be helpful to add attic lights and an outlet or two. Not only does this help you during the insulation upgrade, but 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:
Attic floor insulation is good for separating indoor weather from attic weather, but if you’re really having trouble keeping your attic from becoming a furnace, spraying foam insulation on the underside of your roof sheathing can be a good option. big profit
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, 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 blower door test, the amount of air circulating through the cover is often very noticeable. The smoke bar and infrared camera have little trouble quantifying the amount of leak.
The way to seal the cover with air is similar to the weatherstripping on a door. Foam or another flexible material is placed between the two adjoining surfaces. Now the trick is to latch the cover to the ceiling in some way that slightly compresses the weather stripping.
Don’t think of attic insulation as something better suited to cold North Dakota winds, attic insulation may well be your best secret weapon against having a shitty air conditioner in Texas.
Done right, insulation can prevent the furnace in your attic from encroaching on the living space below. You could keep the room cool enough that you can finally get some sleep.
Thanks for stopping by, I hope to see you soon, but I won’t leave the light on…