Your attic is a cantankerous thermal monster which holds hot air in summer and cold air in winter. To keep these opposing thermal monsters from robbing your home of heat in the winter, coolness in the summer and comfort year-round, attics have to be well insulated and properly ventilated.
Attic ventilation should efficiently release the summer heat and the winter cold and moisture. It is therefore essential to have good insulation and a tight air seal between the ventilated space (your attic) and the conditioned space (your home), to minimize heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer. There is a hole in your ceiling, Matilda! Contact AboutSavingHeat today and we can use top hats to seal those ceiling recessed light fixture holes! Fortunately, attics are one of the easiest areas to insulate, and the least expensive area to add high R-value (heat resistance values) of R-38 to R-60 insulation.
Winter Heating Problems
Since hot air rises and heat flows from warm to cold, air flowing from your heated house up to your cold attic is a large waster of heat. Additionally, this warm air is moisture-laden and causes condensation damage to your roof. These are big reasons for properly insulating and air sealing your attic.
Attics can have hidden air ways and heat transfer conduits - highways for heat and vapor - that need to be taken care of before the attic is insulated. Some of these are: recessed lights, dropped ceilings, plumbing and electrical chases, chimneys, exhaust fans, walls adjacent to cathedral ceilings and air ducts. These tricky areas can be responsible for more heat transfer than the entire flat surface of your attic. For instance, older recessed lights that are not Insulation Contact Rated (I.C. Rated) require a 3-inch clearance (national electric code) of insulation leaving 1 square-foot of uninsulated ceiling space. The heat lost from this one
square-foot space occupied from each recessed light equals the heat loss through 100 square feet of well-insulated attic. The heat lost from ten recessed lights without proper treatment, equals as much heat loss as a 1000 square foot insulated attic.
Airtight top hats for recessed lights were originally designed by Dennis Brachfeld (Founder of AboutSavingHeat) and were installed (or sold for DIY). They are air barriers and radiant barriers, not vapor barriers. They will not create condensation in the winter and will reflect heat away in the summer. AboutSavingHeat's tophats comply with the national electric code. Newer recessed lights can be manufactured air tight, but often leak around the perimeter.
About Saving Heat will not only insulate your attic, but will also properly ventilate and prepare your attic for your best heat performance and value. Let our experienced crew and our state-of-the -art equipment professionally insulate your attic.
Once the problem areas are taken care of, conductive heat loss through the ceiling will be even, and direct air infiltration will be minimal. Therefore adding attic insulation will generally have a big impact on your energy bills as well as on your comfort.
Summer Cooling Problems
Installing attic vents, in combination with a whole house fan and blown in insulation will help keep your home cool at a fraction of the cost of air conditioning.
In the dryer cilmate of Colorado evaporative cooling can out perform air conditioning by 80% in terms of cost. It is also better for our home's woodwork and our skin. They won't dry out and crack.
In the Denver area, there is more absolute heat gain per day through an attic in summer than heat loss through the same attic in winter. On a sunny summer day, with the hot sun blasting directly on your roof, attics can get up to 140 degrees when the rest of the house is around 75 degrees. That's a 65 degree temperature differential! If the attic 140-degrees, the heat gain through an under-insulated ceiling is significant. Hot attics heat up knee walls and ceilings, transferring the unwanted heat back into your living space. Proper attic insulation and ventilation by AboutSavingHeat will have a major impact on summer comfort and cooling expense and the improved insulation can actually save you more money and do more for your home's comfort in the summer than in the winter.