How to Improve Attic Energy Efficiency

Statistics indicate that 85% of a house’s heat loss takes place through the attic space. Houses that were built before the energy crunch in the ’70s might have fiberglass insulation in the attic space or empty cavities between the joists. However, the house is still wasting too much energy, and the homeowner is compelled to spend a large amount of money to heat and cool the whole house. That said, how then can one improve attic energy efficiency?

Below are 3 ways you can use to improve attic energy efficiency

i). New Insulation – Effective insulation has been proven to slow the rate at which heat leaves the house during winter and gets in during summer. This means less energy will be required to heat as well as cool the house. In case your house has continuous wall cavities, new blown-in insulation can not only save enough energy but also improve your comfort. It is worth noting that it’s not advisable to add additional insulation into walls that are already insulated, but in the event that your attic isn’t finished yet, upgrading its insulation will reap you amazing benefits.

radiant barrier
ii). Attic Ventilation – During summer, good attic ventilation plays an instrumental role by reducing heat buildup. This in turn reduces cooling costs as well as prolonging shingle life. During winter, warm and most air seeps into the attic from the living space underneath. This means having good attic ventilation allows the heat and moisture to get out. This ensures that your attic remains dry, which means reduced ice dams. How then do you tell whether your attics are well ventilated? Some of the signs of poorly ventilated or under-ventilated attic include:

– Lack of vents on the roof or in the eaves.

– Too hot ceiling during warm, sunny days.

– Thick ice ridges on the eaves during winter.

– Condensed moisture on roof sheathing or rafters.

iii). Radiant BarrierRadiant barriers are installed in homes, usually in the attics, the main goal being to reduce summer heat which in turn reduces cooling costs. These barriers consist of highly reflective materials that reflect radiant heat rather than absorbing it. When the sun heats a roof, its radiant energy makes the roof hot. The heat travels to the attic side of the roof through the roofing materials. The heated roof materials will then radiate the heat energy to the cooler attic surfaces, including the attic floor and air ducts. Therefore, using a radiant barrier reduces the transfer of radiant heat from the underside of the roof to the surrounding attic surfaces, which in turn reduces the amount of energy you need to cool the house.

Conclusion – Improving attic energy efficiency is the key to cutting heating and cooling costs in your home. Use any of the methods highlighted above and you will have less to cater for every month.

Robert Gibbon

I'm just a normal guy living in Los Angeles who likes to write about subjects as he's learning them. My current obsession is remodeling my home. We bought a place built in the 1970's, and it needs some love. Walk with me through my journey as I blog about all the fun things a homeowner can do themselves.