The temperature in a poorly insulated and vented attic space can get as high as 150 degrees on a sunny day. If you use your attic for storage, anything you put up there could suffer serious damage. If there is excessive heat in the attic, especially combined with a moisture problem, can contribute to mold growth. If you keep photographs or clothes in these conditions they can be damaged beyond repair.
Even if you don’t use your attic for storage, this superheated area can cost you. The heat in the attic doesn’t stay put, but starts to heat up the attic floor, and radiates through to your living space, increasing the temperature and causing your air conditioning system has to work longer and harder.
Proper insulation and venting will keep your attic cooler in the summer heat. The first step is sealing any holes that lead directly from the attic into the lower living space. These holes are usually seen around existing HVAC runs, electrical wiring and chimneys. Once these are sealed, and before you start installing insulation, ventilation should be addressed. Heated air in the attic needs a way to escape.
Most homes have a passive system where there are intake vents on the underside of the roof and exit vents at the cap of the roof. Cooler air is drawn into the attic through the underside vents as the hot air exits the top of the roof. To increase the air transfer rate, and cool the attic more quickly, additional solar-powered attic fans can be installed. Once the ventilation is taken care of, then insulation can be installed. The recommended R-value for Michigan attics is R-49-60 (which is 14-17 inches of insulation). Spray foam insulation can achieve the rating much more efficiently than typical rolled batting.
Call Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing today. We can answer your questions about removing heat from the attic of your Grand Traverse home.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about attics and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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