How to Make Your Attic Energy-Efficient
Part of being a homeowner is being willing to make a significant financial investment. Besides buying the house, there’s major money involved in the upkeep and utilities. Putting together an energy budget can be difficult when energy prices are constantly in flux.
One major source of this variance is the attic. In fact, as much as 85% of all heat loss in a house goes through the attic. By making a few changes in this specific area of your home can increase energy efficiency and cut down on some of those energy bills.
To lower energy costs year-round in your attic, take the time to install a proper set of attic insulation. Government data shows that you can cut heating costs by as much as 50% depending on your situation. However, even during the summer, your home will stay cooler by keeping extra hot from getting inside your home.
Part of the reason why insulation can make such a difference is that a lot of the homes in the U.S. are older dwellings. This means they tend to either lack proper insulation or have gaps in areas that allow air to rush through. A good place to start looking for whether this is the case in your home is performing a touch test on your ceilings.
If you find an area that’s cooler (or hotter in the summer) to the touch, this may be an area where you need more insulation. Installing proper insulation will also help you get the most out of other temperature control systems, like whole house fans in Los Angeles. As an added note, though, insulation isn’t the only option.
On the topic of fans, an attic fan in Los Angeles is also a great option to keep things cool in your attic. In some cases, you may either not have the money to afford full insulation, or just want to keep things a little cooler. Modern attic fans are particularly useful in warm climates during the summertime.
These are quite different from the ceiling fan that you see in other parts of the home. A proper attic fan draws hot air from the attic space while bringing cooler air inside, especially when placed near soffits. Just make sure that you don’t have any air leaks, or the fans may draw conditioned air away from the home.
One thing that also bears mentioning is the fact that many well-meaning homeowners set themselves up for energy-efficiency failure by not taking the time to look at the attic entryway. It’s natural to focus on the roof, yes, but oftentimes, no matter how large or small the space is, this can be a prime area for air leaks. This area is traditionally under-insulated and sometimes may have natural openings for air to get through. If you’re not interested in getting additional insulation, you have a few options here, like weatherstripping or installing an attic door cover.
In general, people don’t fully understand the role vents play and how they interplay with strong insulation. Some people think that vents are an issue because they allow air to escape. In reality, the issue is that poor insulation causes this issue more than anything else.
Ventilated or not, if the insulation is right, the cold air from the attic shouldn’t affect other areas in the home. In addition, you do want to have ventilation to minimize the risk of mold or mildew. In other words, treat venting as an important part of a safe and efficient attic but focus on insulation and air sealing first for the ideal results.
For more information on proper attic ventilation, visit our blog.
Modern issues require modern solutions. If you happen to be in the market for a new roof anyway, this allows you the chance to switch up your energy-efficiency options in a major way. The key example of this is reflective roofs. This turns a negative into a positive.
How so, you ask? Traditionally, solar heat can enter the attic via the roof and go through the attic into the living space in the summer. By putting in a reflective roof, you have the means to not only repel solar heat but also provide additional shade for the home. In addition, keeping the attic cooler than the outside so you won’t be as reliant on air conditioning in the summer months.
Overall, the best way to treat home efficiency is by spending money to make money, especially when it comes to a home you plan to live in for a long time. By spending for some key additions now, you can save money for years to come. For more information on solar attic fans other options to keep your attic space cool, contact us at one of our service locations.