Although we usually enjoy mild summers, the rest of the year in Grand Traverse County brings weather that takes a little preparation. With just a few improvements to your attic and basement, you can keep your home more comfortable all year.
Maintain Your Temperatures
Summertime attic temperatures can easily surpass 100 degrees and when your attic isn’t properly sealed and insulated, that heat finds its way into your living space. In winter, your home’s warm air naturally rises and can leak into the attic. To solve this problem, start by sealing the leaks. Latex-acrylic caulk is sufficient for most areas other than furnace flues and other hot surfaces, which require metal flashing and heat-resistant sealant.
Next, check that you have at least an R-49 layer of insulation. Use rigid foam to insulate the top of the access hatch to the same R-value as the rest of the area.
In the basement, cut sections of rigid foam to fit against the rim joints in the spaces between the floor joists. Run a bead of caulk around each section of insulation to seal it in place.
Let In Some Fresh Air
Optimizing the airflow in your attic keeps the space cooler in summer and in winter it helps prevent mold growth and ice dams on the roof. The ventilation system should allow air to flow both in and out. Gable vents or ridge vents alone aren’t enough. A ridge-and-soffit system works well in many attics, but ventilation design is complex, so consult a professional before you make any decisions.
To prevent excess humidity in the basement, repair any leaky pipes and make sure appliances, such as the clothes dryer, are a vented outdoors and not into the basement. If you still have humidity problems, consider installing a ventilation system with an air intake fan on one side of the basement and an exhaust fan on the other.
For more ideas on improving your whole home’s energy efficiency, talk with us at Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing around Grand Traverse County and the surrounding area.
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 attic and basement improvements and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 231-714-6196.
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