It’s about to get hot and humid in Richmond — is your home ready? You might be giving all of your attention to commonly used areas such as your bedroom or living room, but have you ever thought about making sure your attic is ready for summer? In this post, we’ll talk about how a hot attic can affect your home, as well as strategies for keeping things cool.
A Hot Attic Affects Your Whole Home
Most people don’t spend a lot of time in their attic — in fact, you might even forget it exists! It’s important to give it some attention, however, to ensure that your home remains as efficient and comfortable as possible
When an attic has ventilation and/or insulation issues, it can be difficult for air to properly circulate. As a result, heat can get trapped during the summer, which can make it difficult to cool the rest of your home. When temperatures start soaring, the last thing you need are preventable issues driving up your energy usage and costs.
Improve Air Circulation in Your Attic
There are several important reasons why you should consider installing energy-efficient ventilation in your attic. When things get overheated, it could cause any of the following problems:
- Your HVAC will have to work harder to keep your home cool.
- If things get too hot, it could damage your roof.
- Hot, humid attics are breeding grounds for mold and mildew.
Addressing ventilation and insulation issues in your attic will help your home maintain a more consistent temperature, even as the seasons change. Before tackling this home improvement project, talk to a professional. Every home’s needs are different, and the climate where you live makes a difference. Getting the right guidance can save you time and money.
Seal Cracks and Leaks
Just like any other part of your home, you want to find the spots where cool air can escape and warm air can enter your attic. Identifying and sealing any cracks or leaks will go a long way toward climate control in that zone, as well as the rest of your home.
This is, of course, also a good way to save money. You won’t be wasting energy and you can prevent costly damage stemming from humidity, moisture, and water damage.
Use Energy-Efficient Insulation
A great and effective way to prevent heat gain (and heat loss in the winter) is by upgrading to energy-efficient insulation in your attic. This specific grade of insulation is typically found in attics, basements, floors, ceilings, and walls, and can provide a barrier against the extreme temperatures we sometimes experience in Virginia.
Additionally, improving your insulation can cut your cooling costs by up to 20 percent during the summer, which is a big deal when you’re running your air conditioner all day. The Richmond heat can be brutal, so this is a simple way to ease the burden on your HVAC system.
Install Energy-Efficient Fans
Truth be told, there’s some debate over the effectiveness of attic fans, but it’s worth considering whether it’s right for your specific situation. If you’ve got good insulation, an energy-efficient fan can make it easier to regulate the temperature inside your home.
The potential perk that attracts many homeowners, is that using a fan can keep your attic cool and prevent damage to your roof. Additionally, having proper ventilation is especially important if you use it at a storage space.
Another way to maintain a reasonable temperature in your attic is by adding a radiant barrier. These work by reflecting light away, whether it’s from the sun or even just heat from inside your home. As you can imagine, this requires the use of a highly reflective material, with aluminum being a common choice.
While this may be beneficial for homes in all areas of the country, radiant barriers tend to be more effective in hot climates. While Richmond is far from tropical, it stays warm enough here year round to make this a viable option for houses in the area.
Talk to a Professional
As you can see, there’s more than one way to cool an attic. Many homeowners enjoy taking on DIY projects, but this is one area where we recommend consulting with a professional. They can provide guidance on the various options while also helping you avoid costly mistakes.
At W. G. Speeks, we understand that making any modifications to your home can be stressful. Our NATE-certified technicians can walk you through the process to eliminate any guesswork. Best of all, we offer a free consultation so you can feel confident in our service before making any decisions. We’ve been proudly serving the Greater Richmond Region for more than 75 years, so give us a call today. We’re here to help!