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Check Your Attic for High Temps. Insulation and Ventilation Will Solve the Problem

Published on: August 9, 2012

The attic is where homes lose heat and trap excessive moisture. However, with proper attic insulation and ventilation, you avoid high utility bills and an overburdened HVAC system. For the most detailed analysis, a home energy audit includes recommendations such as repairing or replacing a HVAC system and installing or upgrading attic insulation. A home energy audit also shows a home’s energy loss.

Ventilation and Attic Insulation

Attic ventilation is important because it releases heat and moisture from the home. Without ventilation, an attic’s temperature could rise above 200 degrees. An air conditioning system has to work continuously to compensate for the warmer temperatures. The extra workload takes its toll on the system, increases the energy use and operating costs, and requires more service.

Insulation in the attic prevents warm air from leaking out and cold air from penetrating interior walls. When the attic insulation has the recommended density, you have year round energy cost savings. To ensure attic insulation retains its effectiveness, always inspect the attic after heavy rains and roof leaks. Replace moist, wet, compacted, or shifted insulation.

Schedule a Home Energy Audit

A whole-house audit or home energy audit involves assessing and testing a home’s systems. Energy audits help homeowners find ways to increase energy efficiency and save on heating and cooling costs.

Thermographic scans captured on infrared videos or still cameras measure the surface temperatures. These tools are useful for checking the insulation behind walls or air entering through electrical outlets. Warm and cold spots show up on the video or camera display. Generally, auditors use thermographic equipment indoors for more accurate readings.

The blower door test evaluates and measures the air infiltration rate in your home, and the door temporarily mounts on a frame of an open exterior door. To lower the air pressure in a home, the door’s powerful fan draws the home’s air outside. It is easy to detect leaks because high-pressure air seeps in through cracks. In order to see leaks clearly, auditors use smoke pencils.

On top of the savings you receive from installing an energy efficient HVAC system, a home energy audit offers more ways to save five to 30 percent on energy costs. Just installing or replacing attic insulation, lowers your energy costs for an entire year.

After a whole-house audit, there is a comprehensive report generated with suggestions on creating a more efficient home. Two examples of simple recommendations are upgrading attic insulation or replacing dirty air filters in your system. Because the audit assesses the energy inefficiencies in a home, the report includes its roof, chimney, insulation, and ventilation.

As part of a home energy audit, you get recommendations for installing the proper R-value for your region and density for adequate insulation. Installing the correct R-value will not matter if there is not the right amount of insulation, and it is why HVAC contractors should perform whole house energy audits. Contact a reputable HVAC contractor if you have questions about home energy audits.