Hot air rises, so you might not expect your attic insulation to be one of the most important tools you have to prevent heat from entering your home. However, attics frequently have temperatures that are much higher than those outside, so attic insulation is important for preventing your air conditioner from being overworked.
Attic temperatures are so extreme due to the attic being an enclosed space that’s receiving radiant heating. This radiant heating first comes in the form of sunshine hitting your roof. It’s then re-radiated by the underside of the roof, heating the rest of the attic structure and its air. Without insulation, this heat is easily transferred to the floor of your attic and the ceiling that’s under it.
Insulation is effective at limiting the heat that makes it through to your home’s interior, but it’s not as effective if air is allowed to flow through it. This means you need to provide a good air barrier under it by sealing any air leaks. Any gaps around venting, wiring, access covers or other areas need to be sealed.
It’s best if ductwork isn’t run through the attic, but if it is, it’s important it is also well insulated and sealed to limit heat gain. Uninsulated ducts warm conditioned air before it has even been allowed to cool your home, and air leaks from ductwork in the attic are especially wasteful since the air completely escapes the insulated area of your home.
Since no amount of insulation can completely stop heat gain, you may also want to take steps to limit the temperatures in the attic. Ventilation is key in this regard as it will allow the extra hot attic air to escape to the outdoors while allowing cooler air in. If passive ventilation measures aren’t satisfactory, there are solar-powered exhaust fans that will ensure plenty of fresh air makes it in.
If you want more help saving energy this summer, contact us at Meyer’s Heating & Cooling. We’ve been helping residents in Griffith, Munster, Highland, St John, Scheriville, Gary and the surrounding area since 1951. We also provide plumbing and electrical services.