STOP SWEATING SUMMER COOLING COSTS
Summer is on the way. Are you sweating those high utility bills or that room that never seems to get cool in summer? You could have a problem with attic vents.
In summer when the sun is beating down on your roof for 10 to 12 hours each day, heat from the sun is absorbed into your roof. The heat eventually radiates into your attic space. This heat transfer can occur much more rapidly on homes if the roof shingles or surface is dark brown or black, but a light-colored roof will not prevent heat build up in your attic, it will only slow the heat transfer process slightly.
WHY IS A HOT ATTIC A PROBLEM?
Your attic temperatures in summer can exceed 140 degrees Fahrenheit. The heat that builds up in the attic will eventually radiate down into your living spaces. If you are running an air conditioner to keep rooms at a comfortable temperature, the heat radiating from the attic will cause your air conditioning system to run longer to maintain desired comfort levels. This can lead to a dramatic increase in your electric bill during the summer months. It can also lead to strain on your air conditioner and lead to premature replacement of the units. With central air conditioners, replacement costs can be upward of $5,000 for an average size home. Reducing attic heat during hot summer months is a smart investment that will save you from sky-high summer utility bills, extend the life of your roof and cooling system, and keep your rooms cooler longer.
The good news is there are some very cost-effective ways to minimize attic heat and its effect on our comfort and your wallet.
ATTIC VENTILATION IS KEY!
Good air circulation in your attic is the key to prevent a hot attic. Attic ventilation, also referred to as roof ventilation, is a combination of intake and exhaust vents that allows fresh air to flow in (intake vents) while displacing hot, moist air out (exhaust vents). Some attics need an extra boost from a power attic vent or attic fan. To learn more about attic vents, check out our website here>
ATTIC VENTS – INTAKE
Intake vents are installed low on the roofline typically at the soffit or eave. This allows fresh outdoor air to freely flow into the attic.
Insufficient or non-existent intake vents are a common problem in the Chicago area. Only in the past decade or so have builders recognized the importance of proper attic air circulation and the impact it can have on energy efficiency. Local code requirements have changed dramatically as well, as the building industry learns more about residential ventilation. Unfortunately, there are thousands of homes with insufficient attic intake vents. Worse, on some older homes that have upgraded aluminum soffits and eaves, it may appear they have intake vents when in fact the vent screens are not actual vents.
When we visit with customers looking to reduce attic heat, the first thing we check is intake venting. It is the leading culprit to an overheated attic.
ATIC VENTS – Exhaust
Exhaust vents are installed higher in the attic. Air circulation occurs as fresh outdoor air travels in from the intake forcing hot air out of the exhaust vents.
The two most common methods used to exhaust hot air from the attic are static roof vents, occasionally gable vents, and ridge vents seen only in newer homes or homes that have a complete roof replacement.
For most attics, depending on the placement of the home, the size of the attic, and ventilation capacity (number of intake and exhaust vents) the right combination of intake and exhaust vents should provide ample air circulation to minimize heat buildup in the attic. Some attics need a little help to keep air moving. In those situations, we recommend an attic fan.
An attic fan is a powered fan that is mounted on upon the roof toward the back of the home. The attic fan is attached to a thermostat set to activate when the attic reaches a specified temperature. The attic fan rapidly draws out hot air while pulling fresh air into the attic. The fan will continue to operate until the temperature drops below the set point, often replacing all the air in the attic several times over to achieve the desired temperature, then it shuts off and monitoring continues.
ATTIC AIR CIRCULATION
The combination of adequate intake and exhaust fans can prevent heat build up in your attic. It is a cost-effective way to ensure comfortable living spaces during hot summer months without hiking up your electric bill.
According to the EPA, attic ventilation can reduce summer cooling costs by as much as 40%. Click here to learn more about attic ventilation from EnergyStar>
We are Attic Air, we have been installing attic vents including intake, exhaust, and attic fans for more than two decades. Not sure if your attic has proper attic air circulation? Call us for a free attic ventilation assessment today! You can reach us at 630.830.3870
We also offer attic insulation, insulation upgrades, whole house fans, attic decontamination, bathroom exhaust fans, and attic mold problems.