Every summer homeowners face the same dilemma of trying to keep their homes cool without breaking the bank on their energy bills, with the average energy bill totaling about $137 a month.

What many homeowners don’t know is that their attics can be a big culprit to wasting energy.

Heat often collects in the attic from the roof and radiates into the lower living spaces. This forces homeowners to crank up the AC, raising energy bills. So what can you do?

Luckily, there are several ways homeowners can cool their attics and make their homes more energy-efficient. Through air sealing, insulation, or ventilation, you can finally cool your attic the right way.

Air Sealing

One of the easiest and best ways to help cool down a hot attic is with proper air sealing. This is particularly effective when used in tandem with insulation and other strategies.

What is Air Sealing?

Air sealing is the process of finding and closing air leakage points in and around your home. In your attic, this is usually your walls, floors, entrances, and spots in between ventilation units. These pockets of air leakage can be big or small, accounting for over 40% of all energy lost in your home.

How Air Sealing Cools Your Attic

How Air Sealing Cools Your Attic

By properly air sealing your attic, you’ll prevent cool air generated by your AC units from escaping to your attic. It’ll also prevent heat and warm air in the attic from radiating down into the lower levels.

It also prevents the formation of ice dams on your roofs in the winter. This is relevant in the summer because ice dams can cause moisture buildup which damages your attic insulation. If your insulation is weak or insufficient, your attic will allow more heat to transfer into your home in the hot summer months.

How to Air Seal Your Attic

Before You Start

If you can, obtain or create a sketch of your attic. This will help you pinpoint areas of air leakage. Pay close attention to areas like dropped soffits over kitchen cabinets, slanted ceilings over stairways, areas where the walls and ceilings meet, and other dropped-ceiling areas.

See where your attic is leaking air. Schedule a free attic inspection.

Wiring holes, gaps near plumbing and pipes, and recessed lights are also common areas for attic air leakage. Write these spots down and make sure you have the right equipment to seal them.

Alternatively, we recommend getting a professional attic inspection complete by a licensed contractor. This will provide you with detailed insights, including thermal images of your attic. Use an attic inspector’s experience and professional equipment to pinpoint the exact spots where unwanted heat transfer is taking place.

Air Sealing the Attic

Start by filling in the big holes. You can do this by wrapping insulation in plastic bags and plugging areas like open stud cavities, making sure it fits tightly.

For dropped soffits, remove the insulation and add a piece of reflective foil or rigid foam board that’s a few inches longer than the opening. Seal it in place using caulk or other adhesives.

For pipes that have small air pockets, use caulk or foam to fill the space around them. Make sure you seal the attic hatch as well with new wood stops and adhesive foam weather strips.

Attic Insulation

Attic Insulation

Insulation is usually the most common method of cooling down your attic and preventing the heat from transferring downstairs. It both prevents heat from radiating downwards while simultaneously keeping cool air from escaping to the attic.

What is Attic Insulation?

Attic insulation creates barriers between the roof and your attic, as well as the attic floor to the rest of the home. It comes in a variety of materials, including fiberglass, cellulose, and even reflective surfaces similar to foil.

How Insulation Cools Your Attic

Insulation keeps the sun’s heat from radiating into the lower floors, meaning your home will be noticeably cooler. This means your AC won’t have to work quite as hard to maintain a cool internal temperature.

Insulation also prevents cool air from downstairs from escaping into the stuffy attic since it reduces the movement of air. Overall, the EPA estimates that you can save over 15% on your annual energy bills just by adding insulation to your attics and other areas.

How to Apply Attic Insulation

Before You Start

Always check your local building code recommended R-values, or your insulation’s ability to reduce conductive heat flow. It’s also recommended that you seal any air holes prior to installing insulation.

Take note of areas in your attic with plumbing, ductwork, and wiring. For your own safety, make sure there aren’t any cracks in your attic’s foundation.

If you’re applying rolled-up batts or reflective insulation, make all the necessary measurements so your insulation fits properly. Purchase safety goggles and masks, since materials like fiberglass can be dangerous to your lungs and eyes.

Insulating an Attic

If you’re using batt or roll insulation, target areas like your skylights and cut out the necessary amount of insulation. You can secure it between the framings with staples and house wrap.

Get an attic insulation estimate. Schedule a free attic inspection.

Make sure not to compress the insulation, or else it’ll become less effective. Whether it’s the stud walls or the joists, make sure you gently fit the insulation without leaving any gaps.

If you’re using blown-in insulation, plug in the machine and feed half a bag of insulation into it. Turn the machine on and fill any areas that need insulation. Be careful not to spray the loose fill in the rafter vents.

Reflective insulation requires you to measure out the surface area of the places you’re covering and stapling the material to the wood.

Attic Ventilation

Ventilation allows your home to breathe. In the attic, it pulls fresh air through it and lets the heat escape on a regular basis. Let’s explore how attic ventilation works to cool down your home.

What is Attic Ventilation?

A balanced ventilation system occurs when the amount of air coming into the attic equals the amount leaving it. The cooler air from the intake vents pushes the warm air up and out through the exhaust vents near the ridge.

Without proper intake ventilation, the exhaust vents don’t work and the heat doesn’t have a way to escape. This can cause permanent damage to your roof, which as we discussed, can damage your attic insulation and affect your home temperature.

How Attic Ventilation Cools Your Home

How Attic Ventilation Cools Your Home

In the summer, an improperly vented attic can generate a lot of heat through hot outside air having nowhere to go. This means your upstairs rooms will be uncomfortably hot until the sun goes down.

As such, poor ventilation causes hotter attics. This means hotter upstairs rooms and more stress on your AC units. By installing proper ventilation and letting the air circulate in and out of your attic, less heat will be trapped in the attic.

How to Ventilate Your Attic

Before You Start

First, look for signs of poor ventilation by either looking at your home yourself or calling a contractor. These signs include:

  • Curling shingles
  • Roof damage
  • Excessive attic heat
  • High summer energy bills
  • Rust on metal components in the attic

Keep in mind that every attic has different ventilation needs. Calculate the right amount of ventilation for your attic beforehand. There are a few different equations you can use to determine this number.

Ventilating an Attic

Generally speaking, installing attic ventilation isn’t a DIY project. You should call a trusted professional to install the different types of attic ventilation common in most homes.

Get a quote for a solar attic fan. Schedule a free attic inspection.

There are several different types of attic ventilation that you can use to improve the air circulation in your attic. These include turbine vents that can remove over 300 cubic feet of air a minute.

Active, power vents are smaller vents that can pull hot air out of the attic using electricity or solar power. Passive vents, such as box vents or ridge vents, can use natural winds and convection to move air through your attic.

Lower Your Energy Bills With Cooler Attics

Your attic is a literal hotspot for summer heat, but that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank trying to pay your energy bills. Leverage the three different strategies in this article to create a much more energy-efficient attic today.

Recently I met a man who used to work in the construction business. More specifically, he worked in a niche as a construction “fixer.” His job was to go to newer developments where homeowners had various complaints or problems with their houses, narrow down the issues, itemize them, quote the price to fix the problems, and assist the homeowners by trying to work out solutions with the original developer who built the homes. His story applies to all homes, but I found it ironic that he was experiencing this in newer homes.

While out on a call to a home in winter, he entered the homeowner’s master bedroom. He saw black streaks on the ceiling. He pointed them out to the homeowner and asked if they could take a look in the attic. The homeowner seemed surprised by this and asked him why. My friend said, “Do you know what those streaks of black are on the ceiling?” The homeowner was puzzled and had no idea. My friend said, “That’s mold growing on your ceiling, and I guarantee you that your attic is wet.”

They went up to the attic, icicles were hanging from the attic ceiling, and, sure enough, the attic was also wet. The culprit? There was no ventilation in the attic. It might be hard to believe that icicles can form inside the house, but in many older homes that lack proper insulation and ventilation, the attic can become a magnet for condensation, which will freeze when it gets cold enough and the moisture has nowhere to go. … After a while, this frost builds up to form icicles. Homeowners assume that attic fans are only useful in the summer to move the heat around and keep the attic and home cooler. This could not be further from the truth. While fan ventilation does the trick in summer with the correct type of fan and the fan’s correct placement, it is just as important in winter. In the winter, heat in your home rises – to the attic. With it comes moisture. When attics are not well ventilated, moisture collects in this area of the home. … Adequate attic ventilation allows cool, dry air from outside to come into the attic, while warm, moist air inside the attic can escape.

Attics and More sells solar attic fans that have a lifetime guarantee. They install quickly and are workhorses without tapping into your electrical grid. Some other facts about our fans:

  • They can withstand 150 mph hurricane winds
  • They can withstand golf ball-sized hail
  • We offer a lifetime warranty
  • The flanges are made of a single piece of aircraft quality aluminum
  • They are made in the USA
  • The motor is completely sealed, which means that no dust or moisture can get inside causing the motor to seize and potentially creating a fire hazard
  • They are whisper quiet

Our price not only includes the installation of the new solar fan but the removal of another fan if you have an existing one. Our solar fans also qualify for the federal solar tax credit (26% for year ending 12/31/2020), and we provide the paperwork to you. This credit steadily declines each subsequent year, so it really is in your best interest to purchase a fan now. Our fans are not made in China like those sold in the big box stores, and ours come with a lifetime warranty that cannot be matched.

If you have not had the opportunity to see or have one installed over the hot summer months, now is the time to contact us for a complimentary appointment to see our fans at your home up close and personal, AND take advantage of the highest federal solar tax credit. Let our Attic Specialist stop by to recommend the fan that would best suit your attic based on square footage and roof pitch, so give us a call today at 856-474-2400!

If you did not have the opportunity to see or purchase one of our amazing solar fans over the summer, now is not the time to exclude these marvels from your budget. They are effective in both summer and winter. Your attic needs to breathe. In the summer, the fans move the air from sun-up to sundown off the grid keeping the air moving and the temperature down, and in the winter, the fans circulate the accumulation of moisture that builds up in an attic from the kitchen and bathroom, preventing mold growth and other expensive issues.

We are getting close to the end of the tax year. The Federal Solar Tax Energy Credit now sits at 26%. For each subsequent year, that percentage drops.  While you are planning your budget for the end of 2020, you may want to invest in a reasonably priced, high quality product that allows you to reap benefits from both a cost and comfort perspective. Your home is your greatest asset. Why not show it some well-deserved love too?

Give us a call at 856-474-2400 or visit our web page where you can fill out a simple form requesting a free inspection of your attic. We can send one of our highly qualified Attic Specialists to your home with a fan in hand. You can take a look, ask questions, and our inspector will determine what type of attic fan will do the trick.  There is never any obligation and we love meeting our neighbors who live in the communities we all share.

The Impact Of Poor Attic Ventilation

As we complete more and more attic inspections, it’s becoming a concerning reality that many homeowners have no idea what kind of shape their attic is in.

Not knowing what’s going on with your attic is careless. There’s really no excuse. We understand it can be a “pain” or a “hassle”, but your attic requires the same attention and maintenance as any other area of your home.

We’ve seen health concerns such as fiberglass emitting a synthetic material called styrene, a possible carcinogenic per the American Lung Association. We’ve seen depleted insulation: aged, compressed, and saturated. We’ve seen infestation from sealing issues.

How Hot Attics Impact Your Home’s Health

Even with the aforementioned issues, the one attic issue we see and feel the most is from insufficient ventilation. HOT ATTICS POSE PROBLEMS. Elevated attic temperatures can result in overheated ducts and an overworked air conditioner. Let’s not forget to mention that attic-heat build up radiates into your living space making you hot, resulting in you blasting your air condition. How does that wallet feel?

The photos above show what can happen when you don’t have proper ventilation. Turns out you may not be the only one sweating. Your attic can sweat too. These photos document a hot attic and the residue of tree sap dripping from the rafters. Essentially, the attic was so hot that it was deteriorating.

How Homeowners Can Improve Attic Ventilation

Fortunately for this homeowner, we were able to address the issue in a timely manner. The installation of our solar fan will continuously exchange attic air to avoid future heat build up. In turn, a more efficient air conditioner, cooler ducting, cooler living spaces, and lower cooling costs. They say “don’t sweat the small stuff”. That may be sometimes true, but in your attic’s case, the small stuff can lead to big time problems.

Want to receive a no-cost solar attic fan?

Contact Michele DuCoin at 856-809-2744 to schedule your free attic inspection and learn how to receive a no-cost solar attic fan!

Yes. Superior quality multi-crystalline solar cell modules provide the power for all Attics And More solar fans. Because these panels have high-penetration light sensitivity from morning to evening, there is no need to adjust the angle of the panel to meet the sun’s rays. When the sun starts to rise, your Attics And More solar fan starts its day as well.

Multiple layers of high tech aerospace grade material, including low iron super glass, sandwich our imbedded solar panels to provide highly sensitive light penetration. This proprietary process also makes Attics And More’s solar fans weather proof in even the most sever weather conditions.

Receive a no-cost solar attic fan.

Contact Michele DuCoin at 856-809-2744 to schedule your free attic inspection and learn how to receive a no-cost solar attic fan!