Every inch of your home affects your home’s energy usage and efficiency. Commonly overlooked areas that are heavy players in home efficiency are the attic and the basement. In terms of home energy, these areas are often overlooked because we don’t concern ourselves with heating and cooling them the way we do the general living spaces of our homes.To improve your home’s energy efficiency, start at the top! In this article, we will discuss a few ways your attic affects home energy and how you can maximize its efficiency. If you have an attic, it is a huge contributor to your home’s energy efficiency.
Whether or not your attic is insulated is a big factor in how efficient it is. If your attic is not insulated, chances are, you are paying far more on your energy bills than you need to. 50 percent of home energy costs are in heating and cooling. The attic is generally a relatively large space, that if not insulated, must be heated or cooled by your home heating and air systems. When you run your home heating system, it generates warmed air to heat the living space of your home. Unfortunately, warm air rises, and if your attic is not insulated the warmed air from your heater is inefficiently trapped in your attic, attempting to warm the large area.
An uninsulated attic is a relatively easy problem to correct. Insulating your attic is a relatively easy task, which we will cover in greater detail in our next article.
Air leaks are a common problem in attics, especially when they are unfinished and uninsulated. Even minor air leaks can let cold air into a heated home, requiring you to either pump additional heat to counteract the leak or deal with the cool air making your home colder. When your home heating system has to work extra hard to counterbalance cool air leaks, making your home very inefficient. It works the same with hot air entering in the summer. When the air that enters is humid, it could also cause serious moisture problems.
The solution for correcting air leaks in an attic is also relatively simple and inexpensive. To fix air leaks, you can caulk and foam spray problem areas including cracks or holes. Problem areas usually occur around windows, vents, and chimneys.
After discussing the importance of correcting air leaks, it may seem contradictory to discuss ventilation, but ventilation is incredibly important to your home’s energy. With proper attic ventilation, your home’s heating and cooling system can function at peak performance while reducing moisture. One of the easiest ways to improve ventilation in your attic is to not use it as storage. Air circulation in attics is already generally poor without windows or fans, blocking space with belongings only adds to the problem. Installing a ventilation fan or vents in the soffit will help improve attic ventilation, which will not only improve your home energy efficiency but also help lengthen the life of your roof.
Understanding the importance of your attic in your home’s energy efficiency cannot be underestimated. If your attic is not contributing positively to energy efficiency, it could be costing you hundreds of dollars annually. Improving your attic’s efficiency can be done relatively easily and the cost will quickly even out in the money you’ll save in your energy bills and roof repairs. Contact us at Apex Home Energy for a home energy audit to discover how efficient your home is and where improvements can be made. We would be happy to provide you with a free estimate for any repairs or upgrades.