Hansberger Refrigeration Blog: Your AC Repair Resource

Is Your Attic Wasting Energy and Money?

Is Your Attic Wasting Energy and Money?Your attic can be a drain on both energy and money in all seasons. It’s an elementary fact of physics that heat is always on the move from a hot zone into a cooler zone. Unfortunately, when it comes to optimum efficiency and lowest operating costs, heat is often headed in the wrong direction.

During summer, attic heat soars into the extreme range. This reservoir of trapped heat continuously radiates through your ceiling and into living spaces. The influence of attic heat can raise temperatures in rooms below as much as ten degrees, causing your air conditioner to run longer to compensate and monthly expenses to rise accordingly. In winter, conversely, heat is attracted the opposite direction, moving from warm rooms through the ceiling into the colder attic space. Your furnace runs extended cycles to maintain thermostat settings and your heating bill rises.

What can you do about heat gain or loss into your attic? Here are three suggestions.

  • Eliminate air leaks. Tiny cracks and gaps that allow air to pass between the attic and living spaces also allow heat to move. Seal any cracks at wall joints and along the intersection between the wall and ceiling with common silicone caulking. Also caulk around the perimeter of light fixtures recessed in the ceiling as well as any pipes or vents passing into the attic. Another suspect for air leakage is the pull-down attic stairs or hatchway.
  • Evaluate attic insulation. Here in Yuma you should insulate the attic to a minimum of 9 up to 18 inches of fiberglass batts or 7 up to 16 inches inches of cellulose loose fill to inhibit heat transfer. If your insulation is below this standard, you can add more atop existing layers to reach the recommended depth.
  • Consider a radiant barrier. A foil-covered radiant barrier tacked to the roof joists in your attic reflects invisible wavelengths of solar heat energy penetrating through the roof. This keeps attic temperatures lower so heat infiltration into living spaces is reduced.

To learn more about these solutions to attic heat issues, contact Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Yuma, Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about attics and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 928-723-3183.

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