Stop Wasting Money and Energy in Your Attic

Stop Wasting Money and Energy in Your AtticAn attic is perfect for storage. Many homeowners remodel the attic for other useful purposes, as well. However, one thing a typical unimproved attic isn’t great for is energy efficiency and temperature control in living spaces below. It has to do with the simple fact that heat energy is always on the move in one direction — from a warmer area into a cooler area. Depending on the season, the attic is either a heat source or a heat sink. At any time of year, it can be an energy- and money-waster, too.

On an Indiana summer day, temperatures in the attic just beyond your ceiling can approach 150 degrees. This heat energy naturally radiates through the ceiling into cooler rooms below. Your air conditioner responds by running longer cycles to compensate. Up go your cooling costs. In winter, conversely, a chilly attic draws rising household heat through the ceiling and makes your furnace work harder, sending your heating bills higher.

What you can do about attic-related energy costs:

  • Insulate to current standards. According to the Department Of Energy recommendations, attics here in Terre Haute should be insulated to a minimum level of at least R38. That means total depth for fiberglass attic insulation should be at least 12 inches; for common cellulose loose-fill total depth should be at least 10 inches. The deeper, the better. You can upgrade your insulation by simply adding more on top of the existing layer.
  • Seal air leaks. Examine the joint between walls and the ceiling for cracks and gaps that allow air leakage with the attic. Seal them with silicone caulking. Also caulk any openings around recessed ceiling lights and check the seal around pull-down attic stairs or hatchway.
  • Consider a radiant barrier. Stapled to the attic joists close to the underside of the roof, a radiant barrier reflects incoming solar energy radiating through the sheathing back through the roof. This reduces heat gain inside the attic on a summer day.

Paitson Bros. has been maximizing indoor comfort and minimizing energy costs since 1922. Contact us for more ideas to boost attic efficiency.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Terre Haute, Indiana about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about attics and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 812-645-6859.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Unsplash/Pixabay”

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One Comment

  1. Posted September 19, 2016 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    My AC seems to be running constantly, and I’m wondering if it’s because of the attic. I used to have a lot of stuff stored in there, but we recently cleaned it out. Maybe the junk was insulating it, and now the air is leaking out through the empty attic. I’ll have to try your tips to seal it up.

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