In places like ours with hot summers, attic heat can become a real problem. On sunny days, your attic may reach temperatures well over 120 degrees F. If you don’t have adequate insulation to resist that heat gain, it will gradually radiate through the ceilings and heat your home, driving up your energy bills. The U.S. Department of Energy suggests that homes in our region have 16 inches of attic insulation for an R-value of 38 to thwart heat gain (or loss in the winter). Batt and blown-in insulation provide about three hours of thermal resistance per inch of thickness. The attic also needs adequate ventilation so that cooler air can enter and circulate to keep excess humidity from building up inside.
By combining extra insulation with an attic fan, you will lower the temperature of your attic, reducing the amount of heat that descends into your home from the attic. Home improvement centers sell many types of insulation and may also provide the tools with which to install them. Attic fans are also available, in both plug-in models and solar-operated.
If you add the insulation yourself, seal any gaps or holes that exist between the floor of the attic and your ceilings to cut down on attic heat. Use care that you don’t cover any of the vents that bring in fresh air. If your attic doesn’t have an electric outlet, you may need to have an electrician create an outlet for a plug-in fan. The fan can either be put on a timer or you can select one that has a thermostat that turns it on when temperatures reach a certain point.
When the fan runs, it will pull cooler air into the attic, which lowers the temperature. Solid objects in the attic, including the framing materials, will absorb less heat. Less heat radiating inside your home reduces the load on your air conditioning system. This creates a more comfortable home that’s cheaper to cool.
If you’d like to learn more about reducing attic heat, please contact us at Overland Park Heating & Cooling. We’ve provided top-notch HVAC services for the greater Kansas City area since 1983.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Overland Park, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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