When you think of insulation, cool weather might come to mind. After all, insulation keeps the warm air inside and the cold air out. But insulation is just as important when it’s hot outside.
Insulation just does the reverse when it’s hot — it keeps the cool air inside and the hot air out. Regardless of the season, having sufficient attic insulation is crucial to your home’s comfort and energy efficiency.
Physics of heat
Everyone knows that heat rises. When it’s hot outside, this means that an uninsulated attic can get very hot — reaching temperatures of 100 to 150 degrees. This might be tolerable if you didn’t use the attic and the heat stayed there. But that’s not the case. The heat in your attic radiates to your living space and forces your cooling system to work harder than it should to keep you comfortable.
Importance of insulation
Insulation can serve as a barrier between your living space and your attic, ensuring that your air conditioner doesn’t overwork, and your family stays comfortable. If your attic isn’t insulated already, go ahead and do the job, or get it done by a qualified contractor. If you do have attic insulation, consider boosting it. Batt insulation is easy to install. If you have insulation between the rafters, add a second layer across the first.
Sealing and ventilation
Although improving the insulation in your attic goes a long way toward keeping your utility bills in line, a thorough job in the attic also calls for sealing and ventilating measures. Look for spots where water and air are infiltrating, and seal those gaps. Make sure no exhaust fans or appliances are venting into the attic. If they are, correct the situation and vent them to the outside. Consider adding an attic fan to boost ventilation.
For more information, contact the experts at All Year Heating, Air and Solar. We can help you with any of your home comfort issues. We have served homeowners in the greater Sacramento area since 1969.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about insulation and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.