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Why Our Solar Attic Fans Are Effective in Both Summer and Winter

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.

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How Climate Change Affects Home Energy Use

According to broad scientific consensus, annual average temperatures across the U.S. have increased over the last century with the trend expected to continue.

A report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) notes:

“Extreme high temperatures are projected to increase even more than average temperatures. Heat waves are projected to become more intense and cold waves less intense. The number of days above 90°F is projected to rise while the number of days below freezing is projected to decline.”

And as the world experiences more extreme climate changes – notably warmer temperatures – energy consumption and costs will increase as well.

An EPA study reveals:

“If the nation’s climate warms by 1.8°F, the demand for energy used for cooling is expected to increase by about 5-20%, while the demand for energy used for heating is expected to decrease by about 3-15%.

Net expenditure in annual heating and cooling could increase by 10% ($26 billion in 1990 dollars) with a 4.5°F warming by the end of the century, and by 22% ($57 billion in 1990 dollars) with a warming of 9.0°F.”

And, while efforts to mitigate the damaging effects of climate change continue in some nations, homeowners will bear the brunt of increased energy costs for at least the next decade.

The EPA suggests homeowners can battle climate-change increased energy demand by reducing air leaks and drafts, primarily by sealing their home’s building envelope. [A building envelope is the physical separator between the conditioned and unconditioned environment of a building including the resistance to air, water, heat,[1] light, and noise[2] transfer.] The agency also notes that adding  insulation to attics can “save up to 20% on heating and cooling costs and significantly enhance home comfort with comprehensive sealing and insulating measures.”

Roughly 90 percent of existing homes are considered under-insulated, according to a 2009 survey. “If all U.S. homes were fitted with insulation based on the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), residential electricity use nationwide would drop by about 5 percent and natural gas use by more than 10 percent,” Jonathan Levy, professor of environmental health at Boston University and lead researcher, said.

Home energy-analysis experts agree that homeowners should pay attention to the mantra “Seal, Insulate and Ventilate” when it comes to optimizing energy savings. However, some homeowners think they can only pay attention to one or two of these methods. Neglecting any one area of energy loss is like suddenly finding three holes in a boat while on the high seas. The question would never be: “Which hole should we plug first?” Plug them all at once, Captain! The great news is that Attics and More offers affordable financing with great ease of confidential application right from our website.

SmarterHouse.org points out that hidden air leaks in your home can account for significant heat loss: “In the average home, small openings in the outer shell of a house account for almost 30% of total heat lost.”

In addition to enhanced energy efficiency, proper sealing reduces the amount of drafts, noise, and moisture inside a home and will equalize temperature differences in rooms. Ventilation goes hand-in-hand with sealing techniques. The Department of Energy notes: “Ventilation for cooling is the least expensive and most energy-efficient way to cool buildings. Ventilation works best when combined with techniques to avoid heat buildup in your home.”

As noted above, nine out of 10 American homes are underinsulated. Heat loss due to insulation issues in walls, roofs, and flooring combined can account for 45% of total house loss.

An energy audit of a home’s insulation can not only discover energy savings but also uncover dangers from unsafe material.  Also, some energy providers may offer rebates for a professional home energy assessment and air sealing and insulation projects. A qualified specialist will begin such an audit with an attic inspection. EnergyStar recommends considering a professional attic-insulation inspector if a homeowner experiences:

  • “Difficult attic access and limited space to work
  • Wet or damp insulation, indicating a leaky roof
  • Moldy or rotted attic rafters or floor joists, indicating moisture problems
  • Kitchen, bathroom or clothes dryer vents that exhaust moist air directly into the attic space instead of outdoors
  • Little or no attic ventilation
  • Knob and tube wiring (pre-1930), which can be a fire hazard when in contact with insulation.”

In addition to enhancements such as eShield insulation, homes may benefit from solar-powered attic ventilation systems.

Climate change is real science, and it’s really happening. Contact us today to discuss how we can help you create an energy strategy for climate change on a complimentary basis.

 

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A Survey for Our Delaware Valley Neighbors – Part 2

In our previous blog post, we shared the first half of the results from our poll regarding area homeowners and their attic fans. Today we’re sharing the second half of our poll results along with ideas that will get you thinking about attic ventilation for your home. If you missed out on the first half of our poll results, click to read them here.

9%  I have a solar attic fan – works 365 days a year for free

We are conflicted here. We’re proud but sad that only 9% of respondents have a solar attic fan. We wish it was 99%!! The Department of Energy acknowledges the benefits of attic fans – especially the fact that they help reduce energy costs. Add in lowered energy costs with a federal tax credit for installing a solar attic fan, and you’re really getting the most bang for your buck. We are thrilled for the 9% of Delaware Valley homeowners that are saving serious money and energy.

If you aren’t included in this subset of Delaware Valley homeowners, we suggest that you take a look at our page about solar attic fans. Here you can learn about what you’re missing out on (hint: more money savings and fewer headaches).

9%  Oh that thing – it broke a long time ago…

Out of the hundreds of thousands of households in the Delaware Valley, it’s a shame that 9% of homeowners know their attic fan is broken but haven’t gotten it fixed. Energy Star states that the attic is one of the places where you often find the biggest air leaks, which increase your energy bills and make you uncomfortably hot in the summer and cold in the winter.

A broken attic fan not only puts the well-being of your home and family at risk (this is a huge fire hazard), but it also takes its toll on your wallet and your sanity during the extremes of the Delaware Valley seasons. We’ll come out and inspect your home for free and give you expert advice to optimize your attic – all you need to do is let us know that you need our assistance!

9%  You got me curious, I will contact you for an attic inspection.

This is great! The attic is one of the most forgotten rooms in your home, but it is also one of the most important rooms when it comes to regulating the temperature of your home. Send us a message, call us at 856-809-2744, or attend one of our free dinner presentations. We would love to tell you about the benefits of solar attic fans and help make your home more energy efficient.

0%  No idea if I have a fan or not. Do I need one?

Thankfully, nobody chose this response! If you aren’t sure about the state of your attic, view some of our findings at one of our neighbor’s homes in Cherry Hill. Your attic should be healthy and energy efficient, and free of mold, depleted insulation, exposed electrical wires, and rotting wood. If you find yourself in this category as you’re reading this article, drop us a line! We’ll come out and inspect your attic for free with no pressure – just discussion.

 

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A Survey for Our Delaware Valley Neighbors

Not too long ago, Attics And More set out to survey our neighbors. We asked them about their attic fans. There are hundreds of thousands of homes in the Delaware Valley and we are thrilled to see that more than half of area homeowners understand the importance of attic ventilation! Here is a breakdown of the top results:

27%  I have an electric attic fan — works perfect — year round

We love seeing that over a quarter of those who responded know about the importance of attic ventilation in all seasons. It’s surprising how many times a month we’ll be in homes where the homeowner assumes the attic fan is working but it is either broken or has frayed wires (often eaten by rodents).

While we’re happy that a good portion of the region is aware of their attic’s ventilation, it’s important to note that an electric attic fan poses the risk of being a fire hazard. Moreover, electric attic fans are significantly more expensive to operate than a solar attic fan which runs for free. We suggest that you look into converting to a solar attic fan – a safer, more energy efficient alternative to the electric attic fan. Get a free quote from DHVET for a solar attic fan here.

27%  I have an electric attic fan — love it in the summer, no need in the winter

This second group also gets props for awareness of attic ventilation. However 6 to 8 months out of the year these homeowners are not receiving the necessity of year-round ventilation. If the attic fan is only used in the summer, it is forcing the air conditioner to run more, resulting in high energy bills. You are able to, and it is encouraged, that you run your attic fan year-round.

If you would like to only run your attic fan in the summer, we suggest the Attic Gator. The Attic Gator is an attic access insulation cover that keeps the air in your attic separate from the air in the rest of your house, and we can install it in just fifteen minutes.

18%  I think I have a fan – not been in the attic for a long time. Maybe I should check.

Yes, you should absolutely check your attic! We had a couple in Burlington County that hasn’t been in their attic in 25 years. There are so many reasons to go into your attic other than going in and checking for ventilation. Check for damaged or decomposed insulation, electrical wires, pests, and any fire hazards.

Unsure what to do once you get into your attic? Send us a message or give us a call! Attics And More’s technicians know exactly what to look for and know the steps to take to ensure your attic is happy and healthy.

 

Check back at our blog page tomorrow to read about our second half of polling answers along with some helpful hints for ensuring that you’re getting the most out of your attic ventilation.

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How Solar Attic Fans Work (And Why You Need One)

This article will take approximately 4 minutes to read. By the end of this article, you will learn how to improve the comfort of your home, save money, protect your home, reduce your carbon footprint, and make your home safer.

All year long in the Delaware Valley, your roof is absorbing heat from the sun. That energy can do a lot more for your home than heat up your shingles — if you know how to use it.

With the right tools, homeowners can create cost savings and a comfier home. One of the best tools to implement is a solar attic fan. Solar attic fans revamp your attic’s temperature control and ventilation processes, saving energy and ultimately costs down the road.

You may think your attic’s insulation is enough to keep the heat out of your home, but the insulation only slows the process down rather than stopping it completely. According to HGTV, your attic’s temperature could rise up to 150°F if not properly ventilated. That heat works its way into your home where it forces the air conditioner to work harder, and as a result, your energy bills will go through the roof (no pun intended). Here’s where the solar attic fan comes into play.

So a solar attic fan helps make a home energy efficient, healthier, and stronger. That sounds great on paper — but how does it actually work?

At Attics And More, we know homeowners want the hard facts. So we’re here to give it to you.

Solar attic fan basics

How attic ventilation works

The Building Science Corporation explains the importance of year-round ventilation. In cool climates, ventilation allows the moisture from the living space to escape through the attic. In warm climates, ventilation is necessary to push out the hot air that becomes trapped in the attic. It is imperative for homeowners in the Delaware Valley to reap the benefits of ventilation throughout the year, especially with the common occurrence of experiencing all four seasons in the course of a week.

Ventilation allows a home to breathe and improves the quality of life of your loved ones inside the home. Along with controlling heating and cooling costs, proper ventilation also ensures homeowners get the maximum amount of life out of their roofing materials.

The importance of attic ventilation has been studied since the 1930s, and research architect William B. Rose quickly discovered that an attic with proper ventilation has little to no ‘trouble’ compared to an attic that is not ventilated.

Why your attic needs ventilation

What happens to an attic that is not properly ventilated? William B. Rose lists potential problems in his research ranging from failure of roofing, buckling of roofing, rotting of wood materials, and moisture accumulation in insulation.

A poorly ventilated attic could also allow for the growth of mildew and rot. Mildew and rot not only impact the air quality in the attic but could also decrease the air quality of the home’s living spaces.

The benefit of having a well-ventilated attic is further proven by research from the University of Florida where it was found that “conditions in a ventilated attic are stable through seasonal changes and promotes cost-effective, energy efficient climate control of unconditioned spaces in hot, humid regions.”

How to properly ventilate your attic

Fortunately, there is a simple solution. A solar attic fan works to lower the temperature of your home, keeps your attic dry and ventilated, and helps to maintain the structure of your roof. The main function of a solar attic fan, explained by Energy Star, is to cool down a hot attic by pushing hot air from the attic outside and drawing in cooler air from outside. By providing steady and constant airflow into the attic, a solar attic fan causes warm and moist air to be vented out.

One of our solar attic fan installations on a home in southern New Jersey.

Why you should choose a solar attic fan

Solar attic fans improve the comfort of your home

By moving hot, stuffy air out of the attic and improving ventilation, solar attic fans work to decrease the attic’s temperature. Regulating the temperature of the attic helps the lower level rooms and occupants in your home feel cooler and more comfortable.

Solar attic fans help you save money

After installation, solar attic fans are free to operate since they use the power of the sun for efficient operation. Homeowners in New Jersey are eligible for a 26% federal tax credit through December 31, 2019, for solar attic fan installation. A solar attic fan also eliminates the need for your air conditioner to overcompensate for heat entering the home — leading to lower energy bills.

Solar attic fans protect your home

Solar attic fans prevent moisture-related damage from damaging the roof. Having a solar attic fan expels moist, warm air from the attic year-round and prevents the growth of mold and mildew, and significantly reduces the chance of rotting roofing materials.

Solar attic fans help you save energy

Solar fans reduce your carbon footprint as well as your consumption of fossil fuel. Energy Star acknowledges that installing an attic fan helps to save energy by preventing your air conditioner from working overtime — as previously mentioned, this saves you money on your energy bills, but it also makes a big difference in your energy use.

Solar attic fans are safe

It is important to note that a conventional electric fan has the potential to pull carbon monoxide and dangerous fumes from the basement or ground-level gas appliances through your home. Solar attic fans move air gently, keep your attic pressure at a safe level, and provide effective airflow without endangering your loved ones.

Feeling intrigued?

We offer a free in-home attic inspection and assessment.

To find out if a solar attic fan is right for your home, contact Michele DuCoin at 856-809-2744 or send an email directly to Michele by clicking here. We like saving homeowners in the Delaware Valley a pretty penny without sales gimmicks or pressure.

 

Written by Samantha Brumbaugh and Michele DuCoin