Easy energy-saving tips for your attic
What’s in your attic? If you rarely check, or even think about your attic, you’re not alone. It’s a blind spot for most homeowners, both “out of sight” and “out of mind.” But as winter approaches, it’s worth some extra attention. Although you may enjoy giving the more visible parts of your house your TLC, your attic will give more ROI – Return On Inspection. It’s a common place to find energy waste, so these easy tips can make your attic more energy efficient and save some easy money on your energy bill.
In the attic there are often unwanted – or unseen – areas where air is lost and critters can get in. Holes from wiring and cracks near vents and windows are all culprits and can be easily fixed. Caulk, spray foam and weather-stripping are easy DIY projects to help fill those gaps.
Although we don’t want air leaks, proper ventilation in your attic is key – and it needs to go hand-in-hand with insulation levels. Vents are critical because a hot attic in the summer increases your cooling bill and shortens the life of the shingles. In the winter, vents allow the roof surface temperatures to be even from the eave to the peak, preventing ice dams. Also, if any rainwater or snowmelt gets into the attic, the vented air allows the moisture to escape - preventing wood rot, mold and mildew. Make sure your home attic has proper ventilation, and keep the vents open and unobstructed year-round.
Insulation provides a barrier to keep heat air from escaping. It’s necessary in an attic, otherwise excessive amounts of heated air escapes (remember, some air exchange through venting is necessary). Insulation is rated with something called the R-value, which is a measure of resistance to heat flow through a given thickness of material. The higher the R-value, the harder it is for heat to be lost. There are many options for insulation with varying R-values for attic spaces. Two of the most common types of insulation are:
- Loose-fill or blown in: this insulation is made of recycled materials and is usually blown in by professionals. It does an excellent job of getting into the nooks and crannies of an attic.
- Batt & roll or blanket insulation: widths and depths vary and are rolled out and cut to fit floors and walls. This is generally an easier DIY project.
When thinking about your attic and energy efficiency, don’t just go ahead and add another layer of insulation assuming that’ll be the fix, because that isn’t always the solution. It’s best to consult a home energy expert to determine what your specific issues are (venting/air leaks), what R-value level you should have, and what type of insulation is best for your home.
Ultimately, getting your attic properly ready for the heat or cold will help your Carrier HVAC systems run more efficiently, save energy and money on your energy bills, AND guarantee a more comfortable home. Contact a local Minnesota heating and cooling expert today to get started.
For more detailed information on home insulation options, check out Energy.gov.
For more energy saving and home comfort tips, visit StayComfyMinnesota.com! Stay Comfy, Minnesota is your Minnesota resource for air conditioning repair, furnace repair and HVAC tips and advice.