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

Published on: August 30, 2012

If you have a problem with moisture in your home, or if your home is difficult to heat and cool, the problem may not be your AC system. The problem may lie in the temperature of your attic. High attic temperatures will make the home harder to keep cool in the summer and will contribute to problems with ice damming in the winter. Check your attic for high temperatures. If your attic is extremely warm, attic insulation and ventilation will help you solve your attic problems.


How to Check Your Attic for High Temperatures

In order to obtain an accurate temperature reading for your attic, you will need three thermometers. Hang the first thermometer directly in the center of the attic. Mount the second device near your attic’s entry point. Hang the third thermometer at the far end of the attic. Leave the thermometers in place for 15 or 20 minutes and then read each of the three devices. Average the temperatures to obtain an accurate reading.

Some attic temperatures may reach as high as 150 degrees. The insulation and ventilation in the attic will effect the temperature. If the temperature of the attic is very high, you need to take some action to solve the issue. Because high attic temperatures will directly impact the energy efficiency of the home, measures should be taken to install or upgrade the attic insulation. In addition, attic insulation will reduce the condensation and moisture that gathers in the home. Reducing moisture and condensation reduces the chance that mold will develop in the home.


How to Check for Attic Moisture

You can check for moisture in the attic with an exercise in observation. Check the attic windows and beams for signs of moisture. If you notice streaks on the windows or evidence where moisture has pooled on the beams, the moisture level in the attic is too high. Because moisture in the attic can cause problems with mold and mildew, as well as damage to the structure of the home, moisture must be dealt with in a timely manner. Installing or upgrading attic insulation will help to resolve the moisture problem. Also, proper ventilation will provide airflow in the attic that will help rid the air of moisture.

Cross ventilation in the attic will help prevent excessive moisture. Install vents at each end of the attic to create a cross ventilation effect. Attic ventilation may also be improved by installing additional vents over the soffits.


Insulate the Attic to Increase Energy Efficiency and Comfort

Upgrading or installing insulation in the attic will increase the energy efficiency of the heating and cooling system. In addition, if high attic temperatures are a problem, attic insulation will provide a barrier between the hot air in the attic and the conditioned air in the living space. Attic insulation will also help to keep conditioned air inside the home. As conditioned air remains in the home, the HVAC system is not required to run as much to keep the air in the living space cooler.

Attic insulation will also keep the home warmer in the winter. Energy efficiency is also increased during the winter months with additional insulation because less heat escapes through the attic. Installing or upgrading insulation in the attic will help to prevent problems with ice dams forming in the winter, too. Ice dams form when ice and snow melt from the inside out. Ice and snow fall onto the roof and, due to the hot temperatures in the attic, the ice and snow melt, sending water down the roof to reform into ice dams around the roof ledges. Ice dams may cause damage to the structure of the home. When ice dams melt, water may leak into the structure of the dwelling and cause damage or create mold and mildew problems.


Insulation and proper ventilation in the attic improve energy efficiency and keep the home safe from damage. Insulation and proper ventilation will also keep the living space in the home more comfortable. Insulation material used in attics is available in various forms. Blown-in foam insulation will likely increase your home’s energy efficiency more than fiberglass or cotton sheets. This is because foam insulation is blown into the attic and covers cracks and spaces. Also, foam insulation is generally more effective than fiberglass insulation because foam insulation has a higher R value. Foam insulation is usually installed by an insulation contractor because the material must be blown into the attic with a special machine. For a do-it-yourself insulation, fiberglass insulation is available in batts and is much easier to install for the layperson. Adding insulation to the attic is a fairly inexpensive and simple way to increase the energy efficiency of your home. Lower the temperature in a hot attic with additional insulation and ventilation.