When the heat and humidity settle in for the summer, it can be difficult to keep your home cool and comfortable. Adding attic ventilation can help, but only if it’s done correctly. To be effective, an attic has to be sealed against air leaks, as well as well-insulated and ventilated.
Benefits of Ventilation
When the sun beats down on the roof on a steamy summer day, the air in the attic becomes extremely hot. Installing gable and soffit vents gives that superheated air a natural escape route. You can also add an attic fan to pull cooler outdoor air in through the vents while pushing hot air out.
The Importance of Air Sealing and Insulation
If air leaks between the attic and living space aren’t sealed, adding a source of ventilation can make it even harder to maintain a consistent temperature in your home. When leaks are sealed, conditioned air can’t be pulled up into the attic and lost through the vents, so you’ll spend less to keep your home comfortable.
If the attic floor isn’t insulated to the Department of Energy’s recommended R-49 to R-60, heat can radiate down through the ceiling and into your home. This heat gain makes it more difficult and expensive to cool the space, and the added strain can eventually damage HVAC equipment.
Tips for Sealing, Insulating and Ventilating the Attic
- Seal areas vulnerable to leaks, such as around the chimney and access hatch, and any plumbing, ducting and electrical penetrations.
- Install insulation baffles (rafter vents) before you insulate so that airflow through the soffit vents isn’t blocked.
- Add fire-rated barriers around any recessed lighting before insulating.
- Lay faced, rolled fiberglass insulation between the rafters on the attic floor. Make sure the facing is against the rafters to create a vapor barrier.
- Install a second layer perpendicular to the first, but use unfaced insulation batts and work from the perimeter toward the access hatch.
To learn more about the benefits of attic ventilation to help keep your Griffith, Schererville or Gary area home cooler this summer, contact us today at Meyer’s.